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Taking fabulous cat pictures

Capture my beauty
Karla Kirby

fantastic feline to show off, share and enjoy for years to come.

Plan out your photographer sessions: Capture not only the beauty of your cat, but also kitty’s unique personality. Show him/her in a lazy mood, a playful mood, a loving mood, a curious mood.

Teach your cat to unwind around the camera. Let kitty sniff, gently swat and know the camera is his/her friend. A good grooming session before the camera rolls is a great idea; after all don’t you want your picture taken with combed hair and nice clothing? You will need to be in command of how far your cat can journey during the photo session. This could be as simple a putting up a barrier or closing a door...

If your cat is the energetic type wait for a calmer moment, such as after a meal when she/he may be sleepy. Another good way to get your cat to sit still is to let kitty play until he/she is worn out. Once you have the scene set up, call her/him. This will seize his/her attention, giving you a few seconds to capture and ready to act posture.

If you want your cat to look into the camera, hold a treat or favorite toy above or alongside the camera.

For photos of your cat playing, it will be easier with a helper to move a string or feather or catnip mouse for kitty to pounce on. .

Insufficient light wrecks many a photo. Outside light is unsurpassed, idyllically at dawn and dusk. Never shoot into the sun. Inside shots are best close to a large window, if not you will need good artificial lighting. There are some problems with using the camera flash. It can create red or green eyes when the light hits the back of the feline’s eyes. Red eye reduction is not helpful because it employs a second flash by which time your cat will more than likely have moved. The flash also tends to frighten cats. If you absolutely must use it, make sure the flash as far from the camera lens as possible. If you can, turn the flash away so it's not pointing at your cat or cover the flash with tissue paper to soften the result.

If your cat is active, a fast shutter speed is helpful. Most digital cameras have a very useful sports mode made for moving action. To avoid blurred shots, secure the camera by bracing it lightly against your forehead, pushing your elbows into your ribs and gently holding a shallow breath right before you snaps your photos.

Get up close,--at cat-level, this will give familiarity to your shots, and let you see the world through your cat’s eyes. The cat should take up most of the room in your shot.

Play all angles: Take full body shots, facial close-ups, three-quarter body shots sleeping shots, and action shots.

Steer clear of clutter and distractions in your photos - use simple settings such as a large patch of grass, a flowering tree or a well-lit room with pastel walls and basic carpet. No sofas, tables, lamps, televisions, wall hangings and the like in the background distracting from kitty.

If your cat is light-colored, dark background work best, if dark-colored, light backgrounds have the best effect. . You can even hang a piece of fabric as a backdrop. Only include background objects if they add personality to the photo.