PHOTO KOTIKOV: SOME RECEPTIONS AND TIPS
Well, who doesn’t like cats? Only those who do not know how to photograph them.
When it comes to shooting cats, we immediately imagine kittens with their cute movements, which are easy to get along with. And we don’t even suspect that it is quite difficult to catch their curious eyes and the lively expression of the muzzles in the photo. Let’s look at how to photograph kittens and use interesting lighting effects.
There are photographers who specialize in pet photography. But sometimes the owners of cats and dogs want to make a photo shoot of their pets at home and invite a photographer. If you do not have experience with such animals, and a photo session is ahead, remember some tricks, rules and tricks. They will surely help you not to fall into the dirt and withstand a fluffy blow with dignity!
When shooting, sometimes problems occur – the kitten may be nervous due to the presence of a stranger. Therefore, the first thing you must not forget about is to try to create a comfortable environment for shooting. It is necessary to move around in the presence of cats very gently and carefully, without sudden movements and without noise, gradually accustom the animal to your presence and actions. Cats are pretty curious. This can be used. You can lure them with some sounds, rustling, leaves, crumbling paper, or in the old way – a bow on a string.
For cat photo shoots, it’s good to choose the simplest background possible. It would be nice if the background color shaded the color of the coat of your model and combined with the color of her eyes, because we immediately pay attention to the color of cat’s eyes.
During the shooting, the photographer has to control the camera with one hand, and play with the other hand with the kitten in order to attract his attention. For this reason, it is convenient to use fixed focal length lenses that are lightweight and easy to handle. However, if you shoot with the maximum aperture, the kitten itself becomes excessively blurry, and it will be difficult to focus on the eyes of a moving animal. It is worth using an aperture from f / 4 to f / 5.6. Use reflectors to emphasize the expressive eyes of your model, and shoot at a slight angle to draw attention to the pet’s grace.
Tip: before shooting, be sure to gently wipe the hair around the eyes of the kitten
The eyes of kittens are usually easily watery, and these tears and any dirt around the eyes of the kitten are immediately visible in the photographs. Before shooting, check the area around the baby’s eyes and use a cotton sponge or soft cloth to wipe it gently. By the way, cats with big eyes, especially exotic ones, shed tears easily too. This has been checked many times during shooting.
Advice: again from the psychology of kittens – make a kitten an improvised shelter so that he feels at ease
Adult cats and babies like shelters – a towel, a plaid, a box. This gives them the opportunity to feel relaxed. Kittens like to hide in narrow, dark places. Try to take a picture of the kitten while he is hiding – you can get a nice shot. Please note – kittens do not like slippery surfaces, so keep this in mind when choosing a place to shoot.
Tip: Use reflectors to keep your eyes shiny.
The presence of glare in the eyes of the animal makes the portrait more lively, and their complete absence causes an unpleasant sensation of a lifeless look. To create such glare, you can use a remote on-camera flash or a studio all-in-one with a photo umbrella as a diffuser. Be careful! In order not to blind the kitten, always scatter the light.
Please note that the rounded photo umbrella gives round eyes in front of the eyes, and the scattering of light using a rectangular soft box leads to the fact that the shape of the glare becomes correspondingly rectangular. You can use this effect depending on the mood you want to convey.
Tip: Use a candy bar to provide consistent lighting for smoother shooting.
For lighting, of course, it is convenient to use studio monoblocks that give excellent light. But it will be more convenient to use on-camera flashes, since they do not have cords. And since kittens may be interested in a moving cord, you can get problems out of the blue. Do not forget about the behavior of your small models.
Important: if possible, try not to use the flash at all when shooting adult cats and kittens, or use the softbox for the on-camera flash. Abrupt sudden light can scare them or affect the eyes. Instead of a flash, you can use the light from the window (choose a clear day and a well-lit room for shooting), open the aperture more, lower the shutter speed and / or increase the ISO value. Another alternative is to use a controlled LED light source. You can start with a very low intensity LED light and gradually increase it until the animals get used to such lighting.