How to save & take care of a kitten and feral cats - an advocacy tool kit

How To Take Better Cat Photos

Guide/How-to| Community Change
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Snapping great photos of cats can be a bit challenging. Cats aren’t exactly known for their willingness to stay put and say “cheese!” But capturing compelling images can make a world of difference, not only in helping cats get adopted, but also in creating memories and making fun gifts.

Here are some tips to help you get great photos of felines:

Getting Ready

  • Have your camera or smartphone and camera app easily accessible.
  • Take photos regularly for practice.
  • Natural lighting is best when possible (stand with sunlight behind you).
  • Be mindful of the background. (Can trash or other distracting items be avoided?)

Smartphone Photography

  • In most cases, the flash on phones is too harsh—turn it off.
  • Check to make sure the lens is clean (a soft cloth can be used it wipe it off).
  • When the camera app is open, tap the area of the image you want to be the clearest, and wait for the camera to focus.
  • After focusing, drag your finger up and down to adjust the brightness of the photo.
  • Don’t zoom in!
    • Smartphones use digital zooming, which results in a lower quality image. Move closer to your subject whenever possible for a higher quality image.
    • It’s better to crop after the photo is taken.
  • Play with the different settings and functions (HDR, timer, burst, and so on).
  • For the highest quality photographs, always save or send the “Actual Size” or “Original” image.

Cat Photography Tips

  • Be patient and respectful. Never force cats to do anything they don’t
    want to do. If you aren’t getting the photo you want, take a break and
    try again later.
  • Help the cats look their best. If they’re socialized, try brushing their fur
    and gently cleaning any discharge or crust near their eyes.
  • Avoid using flash, which can scare cats and cause “laser eyes.”
  • Get down to the cat’s eye level for more engaging photos (snap them
    sitting, crouching, or lying down).
  • Try different methods to get a cat’s attention, such as clapping,
    crumpling paper, giving treats or playing with toys. Or ask a friend
    to help.
  • Vary poses (cats looking at the camera, multiple cats interacting,
    sleeping, playing, etc).

General Tips

  • It’s always better to take more photos than not enough.
    • Try different angles, move around the subject as you take photos.
    • Try horizontal, vertical, up close, far away.
  • Vary composition (the subject doesn’t always need to be framed in the
    middle of the photograph).
  • Have fun!