Let’s face it, the furry little fiends are not the easiest subjects to photograph well. They don’t listen when you are telling them how to pose and they’ll wonder off bored long before you have the perfect shot set up. So, whilst there is no such thing as a bad photo of your favourite felines, here are 20 quick tips for getting snap you’ll be proud to share on social media, or even put on you wall, mouse mat or coffee mug. The models for this tutorial are Dido, Harold and Maude.
1. If you ignore all the other tips, remember this one: patience!
2.Get low down and shoot from their height, not yours!
3.Get in close and make use of complimentary textures.
4. Have your camera ready to capture some unexpected humour from your intrepid feline explorer.
5. Get in real close for dramatic pet portraits.
6. Cats are not fond of having cameras thrust in their faces; a telephoto lens can help you get close from a distance.
7. Dark fur can be tricky to expose; try spot or centre-partial metering and check the review image and/or histogram after shooting.
8. Play with unusual perspectives; I used a wide angle lens to get this shot of Harry.
9. Did I mention to get in really close? Cropping tightly during editing can also work; the general cropping rule is “crop in, then crop in some more!”
10. What are the key physical characteristics of your mog? Use them to add personality to their portraits.
11. Is your mog camera shy? Distract them with a favourite toy and get them well into the play before the camera is brought out.
12. To snap the little tykes in mid-play you will require a fast shutter speed and a high ISO; use manual or shutter priority mode on your SLR, or one of the “sporty/action” modes on your compact digi.
13. Think about the composition of the entire scene, not just your model.
14. Give kittens something to play with, or place them where they can investigate some strange new wonder.
15. Sometimes a prop or two can come in handy; if you’re going to add amusing props to a scene work quickly before the wary mog notices something is afoot!
16. Sibling kittens will interact in ways that adult cats are unlikely too – take such opportunities when they come.
17. Ok, so I couldn’t decide between this photo and the previous one, so you get both. It is worth saying that you won’t always get perfect composition, exposure or focus, but sometimes that doesn’t matter as much as capturing the moment…
18. Clutter-free backgrounds are best for any portrait; using a wide lens aperture can help blur the background to make it even less distracting.
19. Whilst cats are notoriously difficult to direct, kittens can be more pliable; Harry and Maude loved jumping from dining table to serving hatch; I laid in wait with the camera whilst my better half encouraged them to leap.
20. The general rule of portraiture is focus on eyes / face, but rules are made to be broken…
To chat about your photography requirements, call me on 07757 259390 or send me a message via email.
Or check out some more examples of my human portrait photography.