How to photograph kittens

Kittens grow up quickly, so you’ll want to capture some lasting memories of your tiny companion before they morph into a fully-grown cat. Here are some tips for getting a picture you’ll cherish.

Taking a great photograph of a kitten is harder than it looks, as anyone who’s ever chased a tiny meowing pet around the kitchen with an iPhone knows. But there are some things you can put in place to make the process easier on all of you and make sure you end up with (and on) your kitten’s good side.

Play with your kitten to burn off some energy

Though your kitten might be at their cutest when racing around the lounge at high speed, this doesn’t necessarily make for the best photo opportunity. Have a good play before you want to do your photoshoot to make sure your kitten’s not going to run off or go on a scratching spree.

Use some toys or food to get your kitten to relax

Find your kitten’s favourite toys and treats to ensure they feel relaxed and loved. If your pet thinks they’re having a lovely time, they’re more likely to come to you and, if not pose for a photo, at least not walk off bored.

Make an exciting noise to attract your kitten’s attention

When you have your kitten in the right spot and they’re relaxed, fed and played out, chances are they’ll go to sleep. So when you have your camera set up, make sure your kitten is looking at you by making a (pleasant) exciting noise to attract attention.

Get down to eye level rather than photographing from above

Get down at your kitten’s eye level to capture a really candid shot. A close-up shot will allow you to capture all their features. Make sure the head and ears are all in the frame and try to make your kitten look straight at the camera (a treat or bell could work well for this) and focus on the eyes.

Experiment with your kitten engaged in different activities but do some prep first

If you’re really after that hilarious action shot, then set the scene first. If you want your kitten playing with a ball of string, or a toy, or being interested in an object, make sure there’s nothing else in the background. Try and find a big space for them to move around freely. If possible, have an extra light source, but don’t use a flash. Make sure the space you’re in is also one your pet feels comfortable in.

Use natural light where possible

Always try and use natural light and, if shooting inside, try and harness natural light so take the picture near a window. If you’re inside, make sure it’s well lit and have an extra light source if possible.

Choose a small detail to focus on

Experiment with quirky shots, such as a paw on your hand, shooting from a strange angle so your kitten looks enormous or looking like they’re reading a book.

Use the right setting on your camera phone

Different types of picture require different settings. Most modern smartphones have portrait settings but if you’re after an action shot you’ll need a fast shutter speed. Using burst mode means you can take a multi-shot sequence and this increases your chances of getting that perfect candid shot – but make sure you refocus from time to time. Some phones even have special pet portrait modes but if yours doesn’t, use ordinary portrait mode to get a clear shot that’s in perfect focus.

Have you taken an incredible photo of your kitten? Share it with us on social media using the tag #PethoodStories – we’d love to see it!

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