Cat Photography: Our Top Tips for Successful Photos

Cat Photography: Our Top Tips for Successful Photos
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If you’re reading this, we can assume that just like us, you’re a feline fan. It’s natural that with such a cute companion by your side you’ll want to take lots of photos. But as we all know, cats can be rather high maintenance creatures, which can make taking great pictures of your pet, rather tricky. To help you get that perfect shot, we’ve put together our top tips for photographing your feline friend. Read on for our comprehensive guide to cat photography.

Cat Photography, lay down looking at camera

Follow Their Lead

Unlike most dogs, cats are generally less obedient to humans – they will go where they want, when they want and are not afraid to trespass in places they know they shouldn’t be! You’ll find them on top of cupboards, sleeping in your fresh laundry or getting into the bins…

Cat Photography, in the kitchen on the worktops

Cats are also naturally curious about things that move and are always on the hunt. Use this to your advantage. Play them at their own game and photograph them in their own environment while they’re getting up to no good.

Natural shots produce the best photographs, but you’ll need to be poised and ready to go. If you’re photographing your feline friend while they’re on the move, use a fast shutter speed. The Digital Photography School recommends ‘using a shutter speed of at least 1/500th of a second or faster’ (but you can push to 1/3200 if necessary) to help avoid that annoying blur.

Top tip – since you’re using a faster shutter speed, your exposure will darken. This is because you are shortening the amount of time you let light onto your sensor. To combat this, simply increase your ISO.

Approach With Caution

Cat Photography, grey cat with amber eyes

It’s time to turn off that flash. If you’re using a smartphone, leaving the flash on is an easy mistake to make, so make sure you double check before getting snap happy. If you’re using a DSLR or compact camera, make sure you manually disable your flash. The last thing you want to do is scare them.

To avoid disturbing your cat, try moving slightly further away and using a zoom lens to photograph them in their natural state. The Digital Photography School recommends ‘a portrait lens around 85-130mm (or equivalent) as it gives just enough working distance’. Giving your pet some extra space means they’re likely to feel more comfortable, giving you the chance to capture some private and tender moments.

‘Capture’ Their Personality

Cat Photography, happy cat

When photographing cats, it’s important to embrace their personalities. Do you have a lazy cat? Placid pets are more settled and tend to be passive enough for you to conduct a good photo shoot. Moreover, you can experiment with your camera settings and angles at a slower pace, allowing you to concentrate on getting the perfect shot. If your little ball of fur is happy to snooze by the fire all afternoon, try placing some props in their view, such as a pair of slippers or a ball of string for adorable, Insta worthy shots.

If your beloved kitty is a little more on the wild side, crank up the shutter speed and let them show off for you. The key is to be as fluid as they are – if you hesitate too much or try to perfect the shot, you’ll miss out on those irreplaceable, candid moments. If they’re active and curious, introduce some fun props and toys for them to play with.

Top tip – use burst mode instead of single shot mode – that way, you’ll be able to capture the action as it unfolds and you won’t risk missing that impressive shot.

Eyes On The Prize

Cat Photography, getting a treat

When photographing your cat, it can be useful to grab some tasty treats. Apart from getting their full attention, you’ll be able to catch them at their happiest. Using their favourite nibble is a great way to encourage their big eyes to look at the goodies you have in your hand. It’s also fun to encourage your cat to stand on their hind legs… or even make them jump to reach for it.

If you’re planning to use food as a temptation, try and get someone else on board to help you out. That way, one person can oversee the distraction while you nip in and take the photo. Once again, this will need a fast shutter speed so that the lens immediately captures the moment.

Top tip – want an action photo? Attach a treat to a piece of string and encourage your cat to run after it!

Black and White Cat Photography

Cat Photography, cat nipping finger

You’ll need to adjust your cameras exposure settings depending on the colour of your kitty. Before setting up your shot, make sure you tweak them to suit. For black cat photography, dial down the exposure by one or two notches. If you have a white cat, overexpose your shot slightly. If you took an impromptu photograph, don’t worry – just play around with the exposure levels when you come to edit it.

Preserve Your Photographs

The great thing about cat photography is that it allows you to create thoughtful, personalised gifts – especially if your friends and family love cats as much as you do!

Cat Photography, hiding under blanket

Now you’ve mastered cat photography, make sure you make the most of your new, impressive photos. Did you capture your cat looking as cute as a button? Turn it into a piece of Wall Art. Can’t decide which image is your favourite? Collate them into one place with a CEWE PHOTOBOOK. We love seeing your pet pictures so remember to tag us on social media!


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