Taking pictures of Cookie & Pippin is something that I enjoy just as much as I do enjoy eating eclairs from Marks & Spencer and sightseeing in Prague (that's A LOT - just in case our standards differ). In fact, if you asked me what my dream job would be I'd say a cat photographer. But I'm a blogger. A blogger who takes A LOT of pictures of her cats. Which seems pretty damn close to my dream! From the experience of an amateur cat photographer, let me give you a few tips on how to take pretty pictures of your favourite fluffy monster at home without any special equipment - just a lot of patience, chin scratches and treats.
🐾 Get the time of the day right
🐱 HOW TO TAKE GORGEOUS PHOTOS OF YOUR CAT WITHOUT ANY SPECIAL EQUIPMENT
You really do not need any fancy ring lights, external flashes or even a DSLR. All you need is a compact camera (or even your phone) and the right kind of light. Just like with any photography natural light is the gold. Choose morning or afternoon, depending on which way your window is facing and ideally take pictures just in front of it with your back to the light source. This way the light will be brightening your pet's face in a flattering way. Oh, and don't use flash - it can scare some kitties out, or even give them uncomfortable black dots in their vision - just like a flash aimed into human eyes does.
🐾 Pick the right location
Backdrops can be fun but cats usually have their own idea of where they want to pose. Simply tidy up the house and let them choose the location. Cookie and Pippin usually like posing on a freshly made bed, just hoovered sofa or in their beds/teepee. Which is fine by me! If you want them in a specific room or a specific location then the easiest thing is to sprinkle a few treats around and wait for the magic to happen!
🐾 Toys, toys and toys
Even if you're not planning on featuring any toys in your photos toys are key. I usually get a bunch of their favourite toys and start playing with them - the cats very quickly join in and what started as a play can easily turn into an opportunity for a photoshoot. If you don't want the toys in your shot then simply take them away just before the snap and place them right behind the camera - the cat will trace the route of the toy with their eyes and you'll get a great 'looking right into the camera' shot!
🐾 Patience is key
Cats are independent and stubborn. So be patient and snap away! I usually take about 200 photos at one time out of which maybe 5 are going to be any good. Cats rolls around, blink, yawn, flutter their whiskers and bat their ears. It's totally expected to have a few dozens or even hundreds of blurry crappy shots so don't let it discourage you.
🐾 Give a treat as a reward
Many people believe that the secret to cat photography is a handful of treats. It ain't. It's a bagful of treats! The rattle of a treat bag is just as effective as the treat itself. Lure your little munchkins in by a few rattles and once you've taken a couple of pretty shots reward them with a treat. Refrain from stuffing their faces with lots and lots of treats at once - they will soon lose interest and that happy kitty charm will soon be replaced with an achey tummy. You can either make your very own treats or just pick up a bag of delicious natural treats like the ones from Natures Menu, Thrive or Pet Munchies.
🐾 Capture the sass
Make peace with the fact that the photo you've been dreaming of might just not happen. Instead let the cat take the lead and show of their sass the way they want it. These might be the best photos you'll ever take without even expecting it because your cat's personality will truly shine through them!
🐾 Don't force it
Finally, if your cat is just not feeling it and hiding under the sofa - don't force it. Put your disappointment aside and make sure your kitty is not scared, frustrated or irritated. What you really don't want is them remembering how annoying this photoshoot attempt was and then refusing to do any more in the future! Always make sure you end on a positive note & a tasty treat!