Tip #1: You can’t get a ‘staged’ photo
The first thing to remember is that Mittens, Fluffy or Mr. Jinxy may not pose exactly like you want – unless you simply want them to sit and look at the camera. While posed shots have their place as records of important moments or events, it’ll take a little more work to create photo stories of your cat you’ll truly cherish. But the effort you put in will be well worth it.
Oh, and a bribe never hurts. Often nothing helps more in getting the attention and cooperation of feline subjects than offering up a few scrumptious treats as a reward. This positive reinforcement is a great training technique and works wonders when asking a cat to hold still while you snap a picture. And, hey, they’ve earned it!
Tip #2: Get down to their level
In one respect, cats are like kids. They’re all over the place, they fidget and rarely, if ever, keep still. So it helps to get down to their level. No, that doesn’t mean making funny faces or acting a bit foolish. What is does mean is getting down on the floor in order to take the best photograph. Basically, you want to be eye-to-eye with your cat — whether he’s relaxing on the sofa or on top of the picnic table. Get up close and personal. You don’t need a fancy zoom lens to get in close to your subject and, oftentimes, moving physically closer to your subject is preferable.
You’ll make your cat the true subject of the photo and chances are that closeness can help to elicit a certain expression or movement (think an outstretched paw or a slight tilt of the head). When you do you’ll have be able to share memories of your cat in some of her most natural poses!
Tip #3: ‘Go below’
If it’s at all possible, try to take pictures of your cat from a perspective that’s below them – get underneath their normal line of sight. This will make for an unusual and intriguing shot and create photo stories no one will ever forget! You’ll have fun for many years as you share memories of these moments. Would you be surprised to know that just like people, cats have angles that are more flattering than others?
Ignore your initial instinct to shoot your cat from above and try from below. You’ll find that there are many more angles and compositions there for the taking, all of which will be more flattering and interesting.
Tip #4: Be quiet!
You never want to startle or alarm your cat. So try not to make any sudden movements or loud noises that might frighten your best friend. This is especially important when you’re sneaking up on him while he’s playing with a ball or rolling around on the floor. A good approach is to employ the familiar comforts of home where they are most at ease and familiar with the everyday sights and sounds. Your pictures will be much more successful if your cat feels comfortable and relaxed.
For many cats this will be at home, but it might also be that they are more relaxed at a certain time of day when there is less activity going on around them. Pay attention to when and where your cat is most relaxed before getting out your camera.
Tip #5: Bring out the performer in him!
This is very different than actually trying to get your kitty to pose. The fact is, many cats or dogs will actually perform tricks for certain family members they are comfortable with. And they’ll do it on command. If you can capture one of these moments, you’ll share memories that will be special and quite hilarious!
Capture what makes them special. People brag about their pets like others brag about their children. And why not? Our cats have unique personalities and capturing what makes them special will cause us to treasure our photos even more. So think about what it is about your cat that makes you beam and capture it. The payoff will be rewarding!