Frivolous Friday – How Many Photographers Does it Take to Photograph a Cat

The Cat Writers Association Conference usually includes a session by a professional photographer on cat photography. If you’ve ever tried to catch a cute shot of your cat on the spur of a moment or strategically plan a particular potential shot, you know it’s not all that easy to photograph a cat. You might see Puffy staring at you wide-eyed from among a vase of tulips. When you grab your camera and aim it at her, however, she darts away, closes her eyes and refuses to open them, or simply turns, giving you a view of the back of her head.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve blown a potentially great photo of my cats because of timing (that is lack of). Sometimes the angle is wrong and I know that if I move I’ll lose the opportunity altogether. Sometimes the lighting is wrong—too much sun coming in through the window and the photo is washed out. Or it’s too dark. It’s rare that a cat will pose in the right lighting, when you have your camera in your hand, and are standing at exactly the right angle.

Lily and Sophie

I once sat in on a session with a cat photographer who suggested going into another room and closing the door while preparing a backdrop for cat photography—props, lighting, background, etc. Once you have it set up, open the door and let the cats be cats—you know, begin expressing their curiosity. It actually works!!! The cats will jump up onto perches you’ve created and begin sniffing or playing with interesting props. All you have to do is watch and wait and be ready to start snapping amazing photos.

Other times, such as with this picture of Sophie and Lily with the flowers, the opportunity just occurs when you least expect it and you’re ready!!! Don’t you love when that happens?


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