Taking Better Cat Photos

People love taking photos of their cute, cuddly cats, and others love to enjoy them, too. Yet photographing these unpredictable creatures can be a challenge. Here are some suggestions to improve your photography skills when it comes to catching cats in the act.

  • Make sure your camera has a fast shutter speed, and special settings for low light, extreme close-ups, and red-eye. Newer cameras also have a function to remove distracting background images.
  • Never use a flash. The sudden blast of light can damage cats’ sensitive eyes, especially kittens. If you need extra lighting, use a lamp in the room with a daylight bulb and a shade to diffuse any direct light.
  • Take multiple photos of an event so you can choose the best ones. Delete the duds soon so you will have plenty of memory in your camera for the next opportunity. 
  • Become proficient at setting up shots so your cat is the focal point, or the picture tells a story. It takes practice.
  • Natural light brings out true colors, and is the best for photos. Indoors, professionals sometimes use a mirror, white board or white paper across the opposite wall from the window to allow natural light to bounce off the other wall, to create even lighting, if that is what you want. A white room is going to give you the best natural light effects.
  • Play with light and shadow that comes from sunlight angling through windows and blinds. Try a silhouette, or dramatic splashes of sunlight and shade.
  • Take outdoor photos on overcast days, or in morning or afternoon, when the sun is not at its peak. Strong sun washes out colors and causes the features to look harsh.
  • Think about camera angles.Try a side portrait, or a view from your cat’s eye level, or your cat standing proudly above you as he has just scaled the heights of the refrigerator.
  • If your camera allows you to choose shallow depth of field, you can get a crisp close-up portrait of your cat, with a blurred background. Close-ups of cats’ eyes are dazzling, and this kind of shot gives your little one’s beautiful face complete attention. 
  • For a full-body photo, turn your camera sideways to take a wide, medium-depth shot, allowing the cat to almost fill the entire frame. These especially highlight cats with  magnificent coats or unusual size.
  • Choose an uncluttered background and colors that will enhance your cat’s colors. A blanket over a chair, for example, can make a great backdrop for a portrait. Or set up your shot so there is little in the background to distract.

Storage: If storing photos by electronic means, make at least one backup of your pictures to be stored in another place. And have your favorite ones printed so you can enjoy them every day.