When a photographer shoots cats in a cattery, for example, it always comes to photographing kittens. How to transfer on images of children’s cat spontaneity and cute movements? This article discusses ways to capture the lively expression of a kitten’s face, highlight his eyes and convey the cheerful nature of the animal.
Some of the assignments of the animal photographer include photographing kittens in the home of their owner. Although the kitten is in a house with which he is familiar, the presence of a stranger can cause genuine concern, so the first thing to do is to create a comfortable environment to calm the animal.
To photograph nothing distracting from the natural emotions and all the cuteness of a kitten, you must choose the simplest possible background. While shooting, you will have to control the camera with one hand, and with the other hand to attract the attention of the kitten. For this reason, it is possible, for example, to use a lens with a fixed focal length that is light and easy to handle.
However, if the shooting takes place using the maximum open aperture, it is likely that the kitten will be blurred all the time, and it will be very difficult to focus on the animal’s eyes in motion.
Use a diaphragm of order f / 4 to f / 5.6. You can use the mirror reflection of the light source in the kitten’s eyes to emphasize their humidity, and capture the living expression. Remove from a low angle. This will emphasize the tender age and cheerful nature of the animal.
Always keep your kitten’s eyes clean before shooting. In kittens, as a rule, tears flow easily, and any dirt or traces of tears around the kitten’s eyes will be immediately visible in the photos. Before you start shooting, check the eye area and use wet cotton pads to gently wipe the eyes.
You should do it carefully, as the kittens will most likely not like it if they are shook too hard and bring beauty.
In cats with big eyes, especially in exotic breeds, tears are released quite often and intensely and the hair around the eyes is wet and sticky. During shooting, check the condition of the hair around the eyes as often as possible.
Create a shelter so that the kitten feels at ease.
In order for the photos of the kittens to be fun, in which they show their cutest natural aspects, it is necessary to create an environment in which the kitten will feel comfortable.
Kittens will not like places where their feet will be slippery, so spread a rubber mat or “foam” over slippery surfaces so that the kitten has better adhesion of the legs with the surface. In addition, prepare something in which the kitten can climb, for example, a bag, a box (or even a towel, as shown in the photo below), then the kitten will be relaxed because he has a place to hide.
Conventional towels are also a good “shelter”. Kittens can and love to hide in narrow dark places. Try to take a picture of a kitten while he is hiding; this can also make an excellent shot.
Use reflections to make his eyes even shinier. The sparks in the kitten’s eyes make the photo live and real, adding a “presence effect” to the viewer. Therefore, use a remote flash with a softbox or an umbrella to create glare in the eyes. Be careful not to shine directly on the kittens. Always scatter the light.
In contrast to the round shape of the umbrella (photo on the left), the scattering of light using a soft box causes the glare to become square (photo light). You can use umbrellas and softboxes separately, depending on the atmosphere you want to create in the photo.
Take breaks, offer different toys to the animal. Do not make photo shoots too long. While the kittens are small, they quickly get tired. It is better to let the animal rest for 15-20 minutes, and then continue shooting further.