Cat Photography: Learn How to Take Amazing Pet Photos

Cat Photography: Learn How to Take Amazing Pet Photos

I got a cat!!!

Two weeks ago, my girlfriend and I decided to get a cat. We’ve been thinking about it for a while and finally decided to take the plunge. Having a pet is a lot of responsibility. From cleaning up after them to feeding them to playing with them, it takes a lot of time and money. My family has had pets (cats, dogs, lizards, birds, fish, hamsters, frogs, caterpillars, crabs), so I knew how much work pets are. Isabel never had a pet growing up – except for a carnival fish that lasted a few days. So while we thought about getting a cat, I was trying to be rational and not just fall in love with their cuteness.

After a few visits to the Berkeley Animal Shelter, we had fallen in love with a beautiful cat named Zorah. This lynx-point siamese was the one that caught our eye and we couldn’t say no. We’ve had her for two weeks, and it’s been wonderful. Getting used to having to clean her fur from the couch and swiffer the floors more often has been a little daunting. But the cuddles in returned are well worth it.

We knew it could take a few days or even weeks for her to warm up to my apartment. So we are surprised at how fast she warmed up to us. Now, when I get home from work she’ll run over to me and sleep on my chest while I take my own nap.

Basically she’s a wonderful one year-old kitty, and we couldn’t be happier!

And of course I’ve been taking photos of her…

While taking photos of our cat, I’ve learned a few things about taking pet pictures. But first, check out a few of the shots I got from her first week at home.






Tip 1: Use a Camera with a Fast Shutter

Now most of you are probably taking photos of your pets with your iPhones or point-and-shoot digital cameras. Having a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) is a huge asset for taking pet pictures. Why is this so? From the time you click the button with your finger, until the time the picture is actually taken is milliseconds. When you take a photo with your phone or a non-DSLR digital camera, sometimes it takes half of a second or longer for it to actually take the photo. By that time, your cat or dog is looking the other way and the moment was lost. So try using a DSLR if you can!

Tip 2: Don’t Use the Flash

This may seem obvious, because a flash will really spook your pet, but sometimes it is hard to get a clear picture without the flash. The room may be too dark or your cat may be hiding under the couch. But never use the flash with your pets. It will really upset them. So again, if you have a DSLR, open up the aperture and even crank up the ISO if necessary to get a well-exposed shot. Even digital cameras and some camera phones allow you to control the brightness of your photos. Use these adjustments rather than the flash.

Tip 3: Wait for the Special Moment and Take Lots of Shots

Digital photos are cheap. You don’t have to try to get a perfect photo every time like you did with film cameras. So shoot away! I took so many pictures of Zorah, and these are the best ones. For every good picture, I have 3 or 4 terrible ones. And with that, wait for the right moment. The moment below was an especially sweet moment between Isabel and Zorah. It wasn’t staged or anything! I just waited for the right moment.



Want to learn more about taking great photographs?

Enroll in the Art of Travel Photography course. Many of the lessons in the course cover general photography tips. So whether you’re taking photos on a trip or taking photos of your cat at home, this is a great course for beginner photographers.





Like what you read?

Subscribe to get the newest tips, tricks, tutorials, courses, and more!