Home photography ideas: Purr-fect cat portraits

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The internet is obsessed with cats, and we are too! We love our furry felines, and for us, there’s no greater pleasure than snapping some fun portraits of our companions as they trundle around the house doing cute things. 

And of course, with most of us still observing the lockdown conditions, it's the ideal time to get purr-fect pictures of our pets – especially since we're always hungry for new subjects to shoot!

Inevitably, though, as cute as our feline friends can be, when you've got your cameras ready they’re going to be cute at awkward angles, or in dark areas. So getting a clear shot can be tricky, but that’s where this project comes in.

You’ll just need to move a few dials and press some buttons to get the ideal settings to capture clear shots. All it takes is a bit of patience, some faster exposure times and a bump of the ISO… and a few props to keep your cat interested!

Portrait lenses and nifty fifties are ideal – this is a portrait, after all – but you can also get great results using a wide 24mm lens like we are. This enables you to get a little closer to your kitty, which can make it easier to gain (and keep!) their attention.

If you're looking to take some more dynamic portraits using lighting – and even a wet dog – take a look at our soggy doggy portraits tutorial! 

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Don't pussyfoot around! 

01 Go automatic-ish

Switch to manual mode and set your ISO to auto – that way, your camera will change the sensitivity for you, depending on the light in the room. This will leave you free to adjust the aperture and shutter speed separately.

02 Make it snappy

Use a semi-wide aperture, such as f/3.2, and a fast shutter speed, like 1/250 sec; that way you will maximize the light coming through the lens, the depth of field will drop away pleasingly, and your cat will remain sharp should it move.

03 Get down to their level

You can try shooting from above, and with an attractive flooring this can work well. For more intimate portraits of your kitties, though, get your camera to the same height as your cat’s eyes, focus on them, and fire away! 

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N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine is a monthly publication that's entirely dedicated to Nikon users. As a 100% independent magazine, you can be assured of unbiased opinion from a trustworthy team of devoted photography experts including editor Adam Waring and Technique Editor Mike Harris

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