Cat World

Photographing Cats Tutorial

Cats can be the easiest, most difficult, most fun or frustrating subjects you ever photograph. If you are finding your results are not as good as you’d like, here are some tips to make it a little easier to get good, clear photos.

1)  Light, light & more light! Preferably natural filtered daylight. If you're taking photos outdoors, wait for an overcast day or move your subject to an open shady area. Bright sun will create ugly shadows & harsh bright spots in your images. An even, soft light is the answer. Indoors, try & use the filtered light from a large window. Bounce the light back onto the subject by using a light coloured background. Pic 26 was taken indoors with the cat facing a large window & a white background behind.

Pic 26

2) Flash? Most onboard camera flashes aren't designed for anything more than fill-flash in daylight. Use the flash for adding a bit of "sparkle" to the eyes or to brighten up a face.

3) Get your cat interested in "posing" for you by producing an item they haven't seen before, or tuck some of their favourite treats into something for them to smell & find. Make the most of their inquisitive nature by giving them something to be curious about. Pics 24 & 25 were taken when I spread out a length of new fabric on the couch. Both cats had to investigate and roll around on the fabric & so a photo opportunity presented itself. Pic 27 was arranged when I balanced a saucer of puss's favourite food in the neck of a vase. She couldn't resist!

Pic 24


Pic 25 Pic 27
4) Put the cat up to your eye level, or you get down to theirs. Most cats look awkward and out of proportion when photographed from above, so be prepared to spend time rolling around on the floor to catch the action.

5) A dining table near a large window makes an excellent “studio”. Stand a couple of chairs on the table, cover the whole lot with a large length of plain, light coloured fabric then add a prop or two to get the cat interested. Pic 28 was taken with this arrangement.


Pic 28


6) Make the most of your cats waking up time for photos. Most cats take their time to yawn, stretch, open and close their eyes a number of times, stretch some more….before finally getting to their feet. Their slow, sleepy movements can make taking some photos a lot easier than when they are busy playing.

7) Make use of another person to stand behind you and attract the cats attention by waving a toy or offering some food.

8) Look for photo opportunities in your cats regular daily routine. A photo of an indoor cat sitting on a window sill; a reflection in a mirror; a big stretch on the scratching post……these are all effective pictures. Take close up photos of their paws (pic 29), profile (pic30) or sleeping little faces (pic31).


Pic 29