Most of us love taking photos of our pets. Especially those of us who have no children, our pets take center stage, occupying most of our waking moments around the house.
We've got three cats. They are all very photogenic, but trying to get decent pictures of them can be quite a chore. One moment they're staring at you with loving eyes, so of course it's time to grab the camera. You return to snap their photo, and there they are, cleaning themselves in a private place. Naw, this is not a shot for Facebook.
As a photographer, I try to make sure the pet is reasonably relaxed when I try to take a portrait shot. A cat in motion can create a great photo, but it's a bit more difficult, requiring a higher shutter speed, and a bit more finesse with the camera.
The other day, we were trying to take a shot with an iPad. The iPad has a great camera on it, showing all the flaws in my face, so it's probably pretty good at capturing the nuances of an animal's face.
But it's easy to blur an animal shot unless you prop the iPad on something, like a table, chair or your lap. That will help eliminate some of the natural blur that occurs from holding the iPad.
If you've got an SLR camera, that's always better for taking portraits. Try to blur out the background if you can, so that the main area of focus is your cat's face. This can be done by changing the depth of field, so that the F-stop is at a lower number.
Try to find some window light or other natural light to illuminate your pet. Unless you've got a sophisticated flash on your camera, the light from a flash can often be unflattering.
And take LOTS of photos. Sometimes cats will move, look up, down or do something else. The more photos you have, the more likely you'll find a shot that satisfies you.