If you’re a fan of cats, you might be interested in going beyond casual snapshots and taking more professional pet portraits. It’s possible to do this without investing in fancy backgrounds, training your cat, or upgrading your equipment.
All you need is your camera, a list of ideas, and a sprinkle of patience.
For heartwarming cat portraits, photograph your pet interacting with a human. This could be during a nap, a game, or just an everyday activity.
For example, my cat loves spending her evenings sleeping next to my family members while they watch a show. To me, this is the perfect opportunity to take sweet cat portraits.
Stand in front of your camera and take a few self-portraits. Depending on your cat’s personality, you can hold it, sit next to it, or, as the creative self-portrait above suggests, put it on your head.
Before you take a self-portrait, create a comfortable environment for both yourself and your pet. Make sure you have a lot of space to move around. Once you’re happy with the location, place your camera on a tripod, stand in front of a natural light source (e.g. a window on a sunny day), and press the shutter.
If possible, use a remote. This will help you take photos from a distance, which means you won’t have to run around with your cat to check your results.
Which part of your cat’s features stands out the most? You can emphasize your pet’s tiny nose, big ears, or fluffy tail by cropping out other details. You can either use the crop tool in an editing program or shoot through an object to block out other parts of your cat. For example, in the photo below, the photographer used part of a window to focus on the cat’s eyes and ears.
Classic portraits are ones that look like something you’d find in an art museum. The lighting, pose, and composition is all perfect, resulting in an image that viewers simply can’t get enough of.
Cats are naturally restless and moody. Instead of making your cat pose for you, look for the poses yourself. The more comfortable your cat is, the easier it will be to take a series of professional-looking portraits.
Go to your cat’s favorite place. There, it might be calm enough to let you photograph it as much as your heart desires. You can also hold a treat above your camera to make it seem like your cat is looking straight into the lens.
There are many cat photos that are taken from a bird’s eye view. You can go against this trend by taking photos on your cat’s level. This change will not only attract its attention but provide you with a refreshing perspective that most photographers don’t experience.
If you want to take photos that look like they’ve been taken by your cat, place your camera in front of your cat’s paws. (Be careful, though. You don’t want to end up with a scratched lens or camera body!)
Your portraits don’t have to feature your cat’s face all the time. They can be abstract works of art that look like a variety of things. The photo above, for instance, made me think of horses and landscapes at first. In reality, it’s just colorful fur!
Though a closeup or zoom lens will give you the best results, you can use any other lens to photograph details. Once your photo is ready, you can crop it in Photoshop to highlight a few details only.
Even though cats can be difficult to photograph, their ‘negative’ traits can be turned into gorgeous portraits. All you have to do is pick up your camera, treat your pet to a few rewards, and experiment with these ideas until you’re happy.