You have a gorgeous cat and you want to share his beauty with the world. But every time you try to take a picture of him, you end up with a cross-eyed snarl or a blur. It's like your cat knows when you're trying to take a picture and sabotages it just because he can (in this way, cats are a lot like children!).
How do those beautifully photogenic Instagram cats do it? What magic do their owners work? We asked a few of our Instagram kitty friends for some tips on how to get the best picture of your cat. Check out some of these insider tips from the paparazzi world of kitty photography!
Unclutter the background and take tons of photos. -- @tabbyjamesco
We have a few tips of our own before we give up the floor for other wonderful kitties. Taking photos of cats takes some planning ahead; you'll need to prepare the area and the cat. Pick the area where you want to take photos, and remove the clutter from the background so that the focus is on the cat. For more cooperative cats, get them used to the area where they will be photographed. Reward them for sitting in the right spot with praise or treats.
Once you start snapping, there is no perfect timing: just take hundreds of photos! Hopefully there will be a few gems among them. We use Snapseed for some quick and simple photo edits, like brightening or increasing the contrast, cropping out any distracting backgrounds elements, and occasionally sharpening the image a bit so those whiskers will really stand out for Whisker Wednesday!
Learn to use your camera and natural lighting is your friend. -- @lovekittykarma
I have a kitty that never sits still in front of the camera so it's very challenging to get any photos at all! I didn't know how to use the camera settings at first so I had a lot of blurry photos. Then I learned about shutter speed and ISO and the photos started getting better (to capture movement use use high shutter speed and auto ISO.) I have a very low-end camera however so there are shots I still struggle with. And Karma never sits still! I like to sit in the yard somewhere with good lighting and background, usually near the hayfield, just after sunset, and wait for her to sit still close enough to get a shot. I have to take a lot of photos because she never sits still. For indoor shots I love my 50mm 1.4. I'm still shopping for a good wide angle and zoom lens.
Tell your cats to just act natural. -- @KayleighKosmas
My best advice is to capture your cat acting naturally, whether that's napping on the couch or staring out their favorite window. Trying to force a cat into a cute pose never works, and will make picture taking a stressful experience for both you and your cat. Cats look their best when they're at ease! I also like to shoot with bright, indirect light for a crisp, clean look. Shooting next to a window is ideal.
Make photo shoots fun for the cats. -- @DesiandLucythecats
I love crisp images with no movement or blur so good lighting is key. Using a "prime" or "fixed focal length" lens on my camera also helps. These kind of lenses produce sharp images and are wonderful for indoor shots as they can really excel in lower light situations.
Posing cats can get a bit dicey. Prepare to take a lot of shots and try to lead them to do what you want using a string, toy or treat. For example, if I want a shot where Lucy has her paw up in the air or resting on an object sitting in front of her, instead of grabbing her paw and moving it, I use a string to dance in front of her, which naturally makes her move her paw. More often than not, I can get the shot I'm after and it's a peaceful process; she thinks I'm playing with her and doesn't get annoyed and just jump down. A string or toy is also handy to get them to look directly at the camera lens.
Know what your cat already likes and take advantage of it, for example, if they already enjoy sitting in boxes or baskets, these things can be used to corral them in a shoot with props or can be turned into props themselves. If you can make the process as stress-free as possible and feel like more of a play time session than a photo shoot then you will be able to capture some fantastic shots!
Grab that camera and get clicking! We'd love to see the pictures you get using these tips -- tag us on Instagram @tabbyjamesco!