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Feline Photography: Getting the Purr-fect Shot

Taking pictures of your cat is a terrific way to not only get wonderful photos of your furry family but to sharpen your photography skills, too. How many of your pet photo sessions result in blurry shots, the backside of a cat running away, glowing eyes, or an extreme close-up of a curious nose?

Here are some easy tips and tricks to capture beautiful photos of your cat.

Invest in a high-quality digital camera.

A DSLR camera, when used properly, is ideal, but a high quality point-and-shoot digital camera will yield better results than a cheap camera, too. Invest in a camera that gives you control over the camera’s settings and learn how to use it. You’ll be a better photographer for it! Not only that, a digital camera (with a large memory card) gives you the ability to take as many photos as you need to – and preview them immediately – until you get the perfect shot.

Don’t forget to pick up some extra batteries to throw in your camera bag. There’s nothing worse than running out of juice in the middle of a great photo shoot!

Use natural lighting conditions.

Whenever possible, make use of natural light when you take pictures of your cat. Avoid flash as its burst may not only cause the glowing “laser eyes,” but may also frighten your kitty. Try going outside (as long as kitty can’t dart off) or using a room well lit by a large window. Make use of reflecting panels to direct natural light into your shot.

If you must use flash, invest in an external flash instead of using your camera’s built-in flash. That way you’ll be able to avoid the dreaded laser eyes by pointing the flash away from your cat’s face.

Schedule your photo session.

Plan the session especially if you want to get a formal portrait shot. Plan the shoot for when your cat’s a little sleepy or has just woken up – knowing how often cats nap, this shouldn’t be a problem! If he’s sleepy, it will be simpler to keep him still. Now, if you want to get a more dynamic or action shot, try arranging for a time when he’s energetic.

Get kitty’s perspective.

Always try to make your pet comfortable. Instead of forcing kitty to come to you, just go to her. More importantly, try showing your viewers the way your cat sees the world by getting down to his level. We are used to looking at our cats as we view them from above so try sitting on the floor or lying on your belly in order for you to capture that profound outlook from your cat’s eye level.

Focus on the eyes.

In any type of portrait, having sharp eyes is the most important. Like in humans, an animal’s eyes can be very expressive. Because the “eyes are the window to the soul”, ensure that you are able to focus on your cat’s dramatic eyes. Also, go macro by using a long lens so his face and fur fills the frame. Remember that close-up shots usually make lovely portraits.

Give value to her personality.

You know your cat better than anyone else in this world. Make use of this advantage by taking photos of her that reveal those distinct characteristics. If your cat is the playful type, try showing her in action as she pounces onto a favorite toy; if she’s kind of lazy then try to capture her as she yawns.

Play an easy trick.

Because it may be difficult to make your cat hold still as you take a picture of him, try this easy trick to capture him while he’s in a good, alert posture. First, while kitty is preoccupied, get your camera ready and focused. Then, try gently surprising him by having someone air kiss, call for him, or shake a treat bag. This will catch kitty’s attention, giving you a quick second to take the perfect shot.

Cats are unpredictable, so don’t be discouraged if you have lots of outtakes, just to get one fabulous photo. A great photographer is always learning.

Do you have any tips for photographing cats? Share them with us!

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Just when this dog-eat-dog world has handed you all the poop you can take, it's time to walk the dog. Or wash the dog. Or feed the dog. You get the idea. So welcome to the world of easy-to-care-for cats. Entertainment comes bundled in a furry, huggable, self-cleaning cat who won't beg for your food. In his eyes, you don't eat well enough anyway. Just keep a laser pen handy, sit back and wait for the fun to begin! Cats...ya gotta love 'em.

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