The photographic challenge of a cat in profile brought out some of the most fascinating images in the Cat Close-Up Challenge last week. The pictures were amazing so today I want to turn our model 90 degrees and face the front for some spectacular shots.
We have some impressive contributions from our fellow bloggers that show how effective a close-up taken from the front can be, and the range of cameras is inspiring, so read on for gorgeous pets and epic tips.
As usual, these photography hints and tips apply to all animals but as a cat blog, our spotlight is definitely feline.
The cat as a full face portrait
A good close-up removes the background which might be unsuitable and spotlights your fabulous cat’s personality.
Cool full face cat photographs to inspire
Check out Bionic Basil leader of the epic adventurers the B Team. This a sophisticated cat portrait and it was also taken with an iPhone. There is a real sense of presence in Basil’s pose.
If your cat has a ‘look’ or an attitude, this is something you might consider working to capture it. A cheeky look or elegant pose when resting may take time and patience but keep our tips in mind and be a patient pet photographer.
Smudge’s photograph here is taken from an unusual and slightly radical angle.
Smudge is looking across to the camera and slightly down while at ground level. As well as being a fun cat close-up of his amazing face his soft fur contrasts with the texture of the grass and the stretched out paw reaches almost into our space. This kind of shot should inspire you to try a few unusual angles yourself.
A naturally framed close-up is fantastic, then try a few off-centre pictures. Experiment. Some will work some will make you laugh because they don’t work!
The most important tool in your camera bag
When you are learning how to photograph cat faces, the most important equipment is not a DSLR zoom lens or a macro close-up attachment for your smartphone or the camera knapsack that holds your photographer’s gear.
It is the bag of treats that allow you to get the attention of your cat, and a pose like this picture of Smudge from the B Team.
Taken with an iPhone this dramatic and fun image should inspire anyone who feels they need a fancy camera to take great pictures. It’s a combination of luck, cattitude and a co-operative pet model, not the camera.
Bonus camera tip for dog owners.
Where Can I Take the Best Cat Pictures?
Smudge’s background, like this lovely picture of Zoe of The Island Cats, shows how you can use backgrounds to compliment your portrait. The camera is pointing downwards and the cover Zoe reclines on compliments her beautiful eye colour.
If your cat is happy to be photographed in different places then you can use the opportunity to take portraits:
- On a plain or textured cover or comforter
- Near a window to use the natural light
- At floor
leveon a plain or nicely patterned carpet.
Bckgrounds can add something special. But, if you don’t have one just move in closer. Easy.
Making sure you and your camera are always ready to be one step ahead of the actions your pet will perform…Peta Pixel
Challenges with a Strong-Willed Cat
Your pet may have a very strong character and they may project this persona in how they pose. They can appear very contrary and not in the mood which means you can feel frustrated when you don’t capture their handsome pose or cheeky look immediately.
Take a breath. Who knows your cat best? You do so work with that knowledge:
- A cat who really isn’t interested. Tough challenge but every cat has a weakness. Exploit this shamelessly.
- Active kitten? Try a small tripod for your camera and a remote. Sit behind the camera with a treat and coax them to play in front of you.
- Choose a safe place. Take pictures where your cat knows it is is not going to be threatened, not unfamiliar places where its nerves will be on edge. A simple sheet is a great cover.
- Still frustrated? Sit down and work out what is causing you problems. Brainstorm possible solutions to your cat photography challenge. Write down every single crazy thing until you run out of space and ideas. You will find something to work with.
Finally,. If you feel discouraged
If you are like me. I feel I can’t take a good picture sometimes. Using my smartphone or my DSLR it seems a struggle to get settings right, as well as framing and composition.
This has prompted me to increase my skills in a more structured learning environment. This is something you can consider too.
I have booked a place on a photography course for beginners to help me get a real grip on DSLR basics. Here are some things I hope to learn, can you think of any others I might need?
- Learning about camera modes including Manual
- Learning about camera menus
- Proper camera set up
- The best equipment for photography goals (Do you want to get really close or focus in the bigger picture?)
- A few Photoshop or other image app skills
If you are in the same position, check out your own local educational institutions with an art focus or
I like Mark Hemmings who hosts Digital Camera Mastery a digital photography course I have taken this course and it gave me so much confidence (AFFILIATE LINK). You might remember his video from my Beginner’s DSLR post.
Marjorie is a motorbike riding blogger and award winning cat photographer who believes that everyone can create impressive cat photographs and fun movies with the camera they carry.
She is a Professional Member of the Cat Writers Association, Kuykendall Image Award winner and published photographer at the Guardian newspaper.