Pet photography: How to take amazing photos of your cat
If you want to know if someone is a cat owner, you only need to take a look at the photo album on their phone, or even their phone screen background, to find out.
Taking countless photos of your cute kitty is a great way to preserve your memories of them and share their antics with others, but our moggies are not always the easiest to photograph.
To help you capture some stunning cat photos, we’ve put together our top feline photography tips as well as some advice on setting up your camera, no matter what kit you have.
Cat photography: Top five tips
1. Choose the right moment
Try taking a photo just after your cat has eaten or naturally woken up. They are more likely to be a bit sleepy and relaxed.
2. Get your cat’s attention
Consider enlisting some help – someone to dangle a toy out of view of the camera perhaps!
3. Get the backdrop right
Choose a background scene that complements the colouring of your cat’s eyes such as gold or green, or something which contrasts their fur colour.
4. Avoid background light
A backlit subject will appear dark like a silhouette in your photo. Ensure some soft light is either behind you or directed at your cat.
5. Avoid zooming
If you are using a smartphone, don’t be tempted to use the zoom feature as it will degrade the photo quality. It is much better to crop in afterwards.
Keep reading to find out how to set up your camera, whether you're using a smartphone, compact camera or DSLR.
1. Explore your settings
Although smartphone cameras are often quite simple, some do have different shooting modes to choose from. See if you can select a pet mode or portrait mode, or even find a new camera app that will allow you to adjust some more settings.
2. Turn off the flash
Before you take a photo make sure the flash is turned off as this could startle your cat. Shoot outdoors or in a well-lit room for lovely bright shots.
3. Tap to focus
Just before you take the shot, tap on the screen to focus. The best point to focus on is your cat’s beautiful eyes, they are the window to the soul after all.
4. Edit your snaps
Once you’ve got the shot, use one of the many photo editing apps available to tweak your shot, making it brighter if needed or adding a stylish filter.
Compact camera tips
1. Select your mode
Most compact cameras allow you to choose from different shooting (or scene) modes, and there may even be a pet mode. If not, you can select a portrait mode if your kitty is sitting still, or an action mode if they’re in a playful mood.
2. Stay in focus
When selecting your focus mode, it’s best to choose continuous autofocus as this will do all of the hard work for you, especially if your model is on the move!
3. Use natural light
Make sure the flash is switched off as this could scare your moggy. It’s best to use natural light instead, by shooting outdoors or in a well-lit room.
4. Keep shooting
Many cameras have a burst or continuous shooting mode which will take several shots, one after the other, every time you press the shutter button. This will increase your chances of getting the perfect shot – you can just delete all the blurry ones later.
1. Choose your lens
A zoom lens if often useful when photographing cats as you won’t need to invade their personal space. However, if they like getting up close and personal, a portrait lens might give you a nice soft focus background effect.
2. Set up
Selecting a fast shutter speed is often better for cat photography, as it will help you capture sharp shots even if your kitty moves. If you can’t find enough natural light for your shot, increase the ISO instead of using the flash to make your photos brighter.
3. Banish blur
If your camera has a continuous autofocus mode, this will help to keep moving subjects in focus. If your cat is sitting still, then manual or single point focus is preferred, as you can really focus in on their eyes.
4. Increase your chances
Shooting with burst or continuous shooting mode switched on will increase your chances of getting a good shot as the camera will take several shots, one after the other, each time you press the shutter button.
Once you’ve got the hang of setting up your camera, try taking your shots from all sorts of creative angles to get some truly unique snaps. From mid-pounce action shots to captivating portraits, the possibilities are endless when it comes to capturing your moggy in all their glory.