I capture professional portraits of pets and earlier this year I challenged myself to work with cats and document their shenanigans. For a month I invited a bunch of cats to the studio and documented what happened.
My favorite part of my job is being able to capture the character of every pet and it’s a right laugh sometimes. Not all the pets that come to the studio are happy about it and you can see their stubborn nature. Particularly with cats they can be notoriously difficult with new environments and people so I was happy to let them take over the studio and have free reign to do what they wanted. In between trying to get the portraits I was after there were some unplanned moments that captured their personalities perfectly!
Whiskers to die for
Cats’ eyes and fur details are incredible and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to capture this up close. The different pedigrees and moggies that came in were so varied in looks and expressions.
Rather than catch like dogs, swipe with the claws instead
Stubbornness was a huge part of the shoots but I didn’t care. I found this hilarious and loved the moments where the cats did everything but sit where I wanted them to or stay put as I tried to take a quick snap of them. Lots of treats and catnip were needed as bribery and it was received very well.
Some of the cats came in full of confidence and were casually roaming the studio exploring every space they could fit in to. Others were a bit more shy and reluctant to leave their travel boxes, to begin with.
Catnip and fish does the trick!
Patience is definitely key with cats and not having high expectations that they will do what you want them too. As a pet photographer, it’s easy to get frustrated or deflated that you can’t capture the shots you have planned. A lot of work with animals is changing and adapting your shoot to what the animal needs and what will make them most relaxed.
With this type of photography, I quickly learned that a lot of the shoot is about following the lead of the animal and embracing the unplanned moments. You can get some fun and quirky expressions when you catch the animal off guard.
Meeting all these different cats I can confirm:
– they are most certainly strong-willed and determined to do anything except what you ask them to do
– they absolutely LOVE catnip!
– they also love boxes, living up to the phrase ‘If It Fits, I Sits’
– if they like you enough you will be privileged to get a shot where they will sit still and pose for you
– they’re down for high fives, but don’t leave them hanging as I have in all my shots!
Okay so you know what I said about how photogenic cats are
…we all have our off days right?
Not many owners are confident to bring their cats in for a professional shoot as they may think they’ll be too stubborn or scared! I hope these images reassure all you fur-parents out there that cats can be super photogenic and confident if given the time and freedom to show off their personality as they want. I’ve certainly embraced it and I love it!
Thanks for reading!!