Nikon Learn & Explore

Cat Photography: Capturing Cats in Pictures

Jamie Horton photo of kitten on red background

© Jamie Horton

Taking a great portrait of your cat can be as simple as zooming in for a tight crop, which will exclude distracting elements.

For many of us, a cat is another member of the family. A little creature you've fed, played with and watched as it matured from a fuzzy kitten to a big (perhaps fat) cat. We know you love to share photos of your family and friends, but what about little Whiskers? He deserves his day in the sun, too. However, just because you want to photograph him doesn't mean he wants to be photographed! So before you grab your camera and call, "Here, kitty kitty!" you'll want to make sure you read these tips on how to get great photos of your favorite four-legged family member.  

We all know the joy kittens can bring. They're so adorable with their big eyes and oversized ears. Before long they will have grown into those big paws and those kitten days will be long gone. Make sure you preserve this time by photographing your little guy as a he grows. Begin photographing him on the day you adopt him, and as he adjusts to his new home. That's when some of the funniest shots can be made.

It won't take long for your cat to find his favorite spot. Maybe it's the couch or curled up with a good book. Photograph your little fuzzball in a place that makes him comfortable. He will be more relaxed and your photos will be better. Make sure to try different angles; try shooting from high above and down near the floor. Zoom in as close as you can to capture the detail of her fur, paws and whiskers.

Since pussycats like chasing after lights, we've found it to be helpful if you turn off the AF Assist Lamp, since that sometimes becomes a distraction while trying to take pictures.

Select Nikon COOLPIX cameras feature a Pet scene mode, which will help you get great photos of your pet cats and dogs.

You know that a professional portrait with lights and a nice background makes for great photos of you and your family. Why not apply this to your cat?

The best pet portrait photographers know that a helper is essential, so have a family member or friend nearby to help. You may have to entice the little guy with some treats. Your helper can also wave a favorite toy in front of the cat, so you can get those alert, ears-up poses.

Find a spot in your home with a lot of natural light or a big window, that offers a nice setting for the photograph. If you don't like the surroundings, you can hang a sheet or drape a blanket over a chair for a solid background.

Experiment with the cat in different settings. Try placing the camera on the floor and tilting it up towards him for a unique viewpoint.

If he does tricks, you'll definitely want to capture him doing them. Don't forget about video. Most COOLPIX cameras and specific Nikon D-SLRs can capture HD movies, as well as the Nikon 1 digital cameras. Cat tricks or other antics make great video subjects.

And don't forget about the other animals in your home. They will want to be included, too! Be patient and you'll even be able to get the cat and dog together for a few pictures.

Remember your furry little feline around the holidays too. If he'll let you dress him up in a Halloween costume or put a Santa hat on his head, you'll have made the most adorable photographs to cherish and share.