Many of us are cat lovers. These little felines have beauty and personality that make them great portrait models. And cat art pictures are everywhere, from Facebook to Instagram to just about every other picture on Pinterest.
And that’s because cat portrait photography is a fun and interesting niche of pet photography. Trying to photograph cats is a lot like trying to herd them—great for laughs, but usually unproductive. Whether you are a cat owner or you like street cats, here you have some useful tips to improve your cat’s portrait.
Show off the Cat’s Personality
First, you have to understand that each animal has their own personality, and each breed has its own personality. For instance, furry cats like Persians and Himalayans tend to be lazy and placid, and lend themselves well to seated and lying-down shots. These cats are also much more alert in the morning than in the late afternoon.
On the other end of the spectrum, Abyssinians, Russian Blues, and Cornish Rexes are hyper and playful. They're also extremely agile animals, and like to hang off the tops of tall surfaces and perches. Use this trait to your advantage by choosing companion props like cat condos and baskets.
Also, keep in mind that each cat is different. Some are food-oriented, meaning a treat or two might be a good way to sweeten them up before a photo session. Others like to be petted, and are soothed when their owners touch them. Shoot them when they are comfortable inhibiting their natural instincts. This will give you the picture-perfect portraits.
Shooting is best done in daylight. It doesn’t matter where you plan to shoot, at home or outdoors. Cute cat images with a high brightness are 24% more likeable.
Start shooting at home at a time when a lot of sunlight comes through the window. Only your cat’s mood can prevent you from shooting. The benefit of working in daylight at home is that it can be controlled; i.e., you can dissipate the light, darken the space, etc. It’s impossible to do this while shooting outdoors.
Shooting outdoors is also better in the afternoon. It’s best not to take photos in the bright sun unless there are clouds in the sky.
Frame your subject
Framing your cat in the shot with surroundings like long grass, shrubs, or tree foliage gives the photo added depth. It also creates the feeling of peeking into the cat’s own natural habitat, or his world. It’s a technique you’ll often see in wildlife photography. Indoors, you can frame your cat by including any cubby holes or hiding places that cats generally like.
Get their Attention
Cats have different characters and traits; they all react differently to similar situations. But one thing they have in common is their natural curiosity. Use it — it’s one of the ways to make the cats go where you want and do what you want them to do.
Crackling your fingers, rustling paper or dry leaves, or tossing pebbles are great ways to get their attention. Toss pebbles in the direction where you want to direct the cats, and their curiosity will do the rest. The cats will go and check out what’s there, then just use the paper rustling to make cats turn towards you.
Capture Cats in Action
Capturing pictures of your cat chasing a toy, leaping or running around a garden or scurrying up a tree is not going to be easy if you leave your camera in single shot mode. That is true unless you literally have lightning reflexes or get lucky with the timing. Therefore, if you know you’re going to be attempting action shots, switch your camera to its continuous drive or burst mode.
Sleeping Cats are Beautiful to Capture
Cats can sleep in various places and positions; it’s strange to us but normal to them. Even if they look like nothing can wake them up, the tiniest noise can disturb them from sleep. So be quiet, make no sudden movements, and do not interrupt their privacy. When they wake up, there is only a minimum chance to they get back in the strange /funny position we liked to capture in our photo.
Experiment with Angles
Make every photo different from your previous one. Do not repeat yourself; always look for interesting and new angles. Get ready to slip into strange places, roll on the grass, dirt, climb trees, and capture cobwebs. Be ready for stabbing thorns or biting mosquitoes. Give 100% for each photo to get the shot you want.
Don’t Use Flash
If light conditions are not the best, you might think about using the flash. But cats are not the biggest fans of these strong and sudden light bursts.
You might scare them to the point of running away. And in the case of kitten pictures, you might even damage their delicate eyes. Another alternative is to use an LED light that won’t annoy them nor make them run away. You can start by using the LED light at really low intensity and increase it progressively when the animals get used to it.
While practicing the art of taking cat’s portraits, remember that it takes tons of imagination and patience to achieve the best shots. But once you successfully pull it off, you’ll gain a high five from both kitties and cat lovers alike.
How creative can you get with your cat portraits?
Pets are something that you would love to have around you. They are great stress busters and having them around is a boon. They become part of your family and treat them like that too. Have you ever thought of making a portrait of your pet just like you would do for your family member? If not, then you should think about it. For example, if you are a cat owner, having a cat’s portrait will be the best thing. You can enjoy having a photo in your house.
If you are choosing a perfect portrait for your cat, then here are some ways to be creative.
Capture various moments of your Cat through cat art
Cats can have different moods that make them cuter every time you see them. Make sure that you are capturing these moments. You can create a collage with the help of these photos. The collage can have a story that can be related to you and your cat. You can also choose a theme for your portrait. Wondering what kind of pictures to choose?
Then you can choose to capture various moods or capture the moments when your cat is playing with its toys. To make it more fun, you can also take a picture of your cat soon after it has come out of the bath.
Make them model for their Cat portrait
Many of us love to model or pose during photoshoots, then why not your cat? Choose a perfect location where you want to take a picture of your cat. Natural light is the best for clicking perfect and effective pictures. Click the picture of your cat when it is playing outside or lazing around in the sun. Such pictures make lovely on the frames. You can click pictures that enhance the features of your cat.
Get your Cat’s picture painted
If you want to be a little creative, then you can get a cat art painting done. You can get it done from a locally available painter, or you can simply get them done online. Many artists will paint a picture of your cat based on the photograph that you will send them digitally. For getting a digital painting made, all you have to do is upload your cat’s photo and order your painting.
Make your cat look like a human
Some websites have the option of using your cat’s picture on the body of a famous person. So, if you want your cat to turn into a king, then the designers online will do it for you. You can get ideas from famous cat paintings online to get a perfect painting or picture made for your cat. This is not only creative but also fun. These pictures come in different sizes that you can choose from and get them framed for your wall. Let your cat enjoy the look that does not involve the forceful wearing of costumes.
Capture small but precious details
Whether you want to get your photograph framed or get them photoshopped or send them for digitally designed you need a good photo. When you are photographing your cat, make sure that you are capturing every small detail. Focusing on minor details for your photographs will give an amazing result. Let your cat’s photo speak for itself. Make them look unusual and unique.
Choose a perfect costume for a cat portrait
Pets look very cute and adorable when they are dressed up. Start shopping for a perfect costume for your cat and click an adorable photo. Make it look like a pirate or simply make it wear a jacket with a hat. Whatever you make it wear, your cat will always look adorably cute. Even if you do not dress up your cat, you can just use a bow to make it look pretty. These make a lovely cat canvas art for your wall.
Choose a playtime photo for your cat
Like any other pet, cats too love to have their friends around. You can invite your cat’s friend for a playdate. The playfulness of the two best friends will get you a perfect click. You do not need to expect your cat to pose for you. You can get a natural picture of your cat playing with its friend.
If your cat does not have a friend, then you can get an animal that is not its friend. For example, you can make your dog or your neighbor’s dog pose with your cat. The natural expressions of both pets will make a picture-perfect moment.
Customize your famous cat paintings online
There many photo websites where you can get your cat portrait customized. These websites are easy to use as you just to choose the portrait and upload your cat’s picture. Make sure that you are uploading a high-quality photo of your cat to get a non-blurry picture. These pictures are a fun way of getting your cat’s picture framed.
Tips for photographing best photos for your cat’s portrait
The best cat portraits are the ones that depict the subject’s character in its best form and store the moment in it for a lifetime. For an excellent representation of the animal’s mannerisms, personality, the physical appearance you must provide the best photographs of your kitty to the artist. There is no need to hire an expert photographer for the job. Simply ensure that the pictures have all important features of pet that you want the artist to include in the cat art.
Follow the tips listed below to click some wonderful photos of your cat for her portrait -
Take photos in natural light - It is crucial to capture the accurate and detailed features of your cat. Natural light highlights the natural coloring of the subject along. Plus, turn off your camera’s flash as it gives red-eye to the subject and results in a flat photo as it may also distract the subject. Take the photos in the natural environment even if it’s a cloudy day. If you are photographing your pet indoors then make sure it’s a well-lit room. Keep in mind, your cats portrait will have the same colors as highlighted in the photo.
Ensure high-resolution photos – Needless to mention, but blurry photos mean imperfect cat canvas art. You need to understand that an artist doesn’t know your kitty intimately. So they can’t bring out the crisp details in the portrait unless they have some good, high-resolution photos for reference.
There is no need for a DSLR camera to capture flawless photos of your pet. Just ensure the right setting and lighting. You may use a DSLR if you do have access to one. Don’t send the picture straightaway from your mobile. Confirm with your artist what file size will work best for them.
Click pictures of your cat at her eye-level – Take photos from your pet’s level and aim at getting front-facing shots. Photos taken from the eye level are the most flattering ones and ideal for a pet portrait. You’ll find that the famous cat paintings mostly have a front-on view. However, you may also consider something unusual for the portrait, but make sure you have your cats portrait vision in the form of photos.
Make your cat look at you while you are taking her photos. This will give you crisp shots with both her eyes at the right angle. Your cat shouldn’t seem cut off in the picture. Play with their curiosity to engage them in the act and make them follow your instructions during the photography session. Plus, don’t click the shots from a far distance. For a top-quality, the portrait doesn’t forget to take bust shots of your cat.
Get candid shots when photographing your cat – It’s hard for an artist to capture the true personality of the pet unless they have good photos of the subject. To get the best portrait of your pet it’s important to get as many candid clicks as possible. Have fun and play with your cat when clicking her pictures.
Remember, the best of the clicks are the result of patience. It could take endless sessions to capture that perfect moment. So be patient when photographing your pet for a portrait. The process demands time and proper preparation. Don’t pressure your cat to rush into the acts. This won’t bring out her true character and personality. The subject should be comfortable when you click photos. You may use the favorite toys or treats of your pet to capture the best moments in your camera.
Send original sized photos to your pet portrait artist - The quality of the portrait will be affected by the type of pictures you send. Try to send the photos in their original size to the artist. The cropped photos are less sharp and not very clear. Most importantly, editing or reducing the picture’s size could result in the loss of crucial information/details.
It’s always best to send the file in the largest size so that the pet portrait artist can zoom in the photo to access all the necessary details. Send original sized photos downloaded from your camera to the artist without any edits. Keep in mind the photos that you’ll share with the artist will be used as a reference for the cat art.
Every animal has a unique personality. They show different acts and signs every day revealing new sides of their character. Capture their moments in a photograph for cat canvas art is undeniably a tough job. The rule of the thumb is to focus on capturing their most endearing parts— it could be their face, eyes, or anything else. Maybe you endear a one-of-a-kind look on your cat’s face and want it to be preserved for a lifetime in the form of the art.