Capturing mouser’s mug at just the right moment takes great skill. You can sneak up, prep that camera, set the scene; they will ultimately sabotage your efforts. You approach with cautious steps, camera in hand, and that angelic smile turns to a demonic yawn – or worse: they dart away, leaving you with an image of a fuzzy apparition. Well, you beautiful catographers – worry no more! Use the following tips to score frame-worthy photos of your cats.
PERSONALITY SHINES THROUGH
Holiday-card-worthy photo ops are strictly off limits in my household, I’ve always assumed. Not so, says professional pet photographer, Larry Johnson, who has the art of cat personality down to a science. “Each animal has their own personality and each breed has its own personality,” Johnson says. Owners know if their cat is lazy and placid, which helps with seated and still shots, or if they’re active and love to play, which makes for great action shots. Johnson notes that Abyssinians, Russian Blues and Cornish Rexes are hyper and playful, while breeds like Persians and Himalayans can be mellow.
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NO MOUSER WORKS FOR FREE
While my cats will get out of bed for less than ten thousand per day, I must bring something to the table where coercion is concerned. You can engage your cat into the scene by providing her with the occasional treat. Not only will she become accustomed to you and your snappy gadget, she will associate it with a fun playtime. Greenies not only appease my lil’ monkeys, they’re good for their teeth. We’re also big fans of food puzzles. You can score that magic shot while kitty’s foraging for the goods.
ACTION SHOTS ABOUND
Want those X-Game-worthy, mid-air action shots? The trick is to engage your cat with toys. Keep the setting simple and clear of debris. This playtime photo op works best with those active breeds that love to play. Remember – no forced playtime if kitty isn’t game – and no outfits. Unlike my eight-year-old self, I now realize that my cat is not a doll I can just push around in a doll pram at high speeds (poor Frisky, although part of me thinks he liked it).
GREAT LIGHTING AND BACKGROUNDS
You know that perfect time of day when the light hits the window and mouser stares down stupid birds with the intensity of Hannibal Lechter? These are generally the moments we never carry our cameras around. So make a point of it. Take stock of the times when the natural light is best and your kitty has chosen the perfect backdrop (think bold colors, big windows, clean lines). Some pro cameras even take the pressure off. The Nikon COOLPIX camera has a pet scene setting, doing all the work for you. Try different settings where kitty feels most relaxed. And leave the catnip for post-shoot, will you? It’s not the eighties anymore!