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Just as the topic implies, I was photographing a kitten in my studio a couple days ago and he just didn't want to stay still long enough to get a decent focus and get a shot off. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for cats, and animals in general.
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Tire it out a little first, have a good old play with a toy on a string. My 'boys' don't like the camera much - most of my shots are taken of them asleep, or just settling down for a nap! Having an 'assistant' will help...............they could do all the running, whilst you stand behind the camera waiting!
You can't force the situation, but as in any nature photography - knowing your subject helps.
E.g. Cats like to practice hunting (play). They are attracted to the movement of small objects, and before actively chasing (e.g. pouncing) will often sit still weighing the moving object up - especially if its movement is not what it expects. So have someone dangle a small toy (even just a piece of string) directly behind you (or in the direction you want the kitten to look) - and be ready - the kitten won't stay still for long. A laser pen is good option too - they go mad for it - and when the light disappears will often sit still waiting for it to come back.
my experiences confirm what I already knew, cats have an evil sense of humour.
In my last shoot the only time the little beggars posed properly was when I wasn't in the room, so maybe using a remote shooting app so that they don't know you are doing it will help?
More seriously, Adam's suggestions are good and have you considered using a mirror? Our cats used to love looking at their reflection when kittens, same with something like the TV (these days a Tablet would do the same?)
One other thought, paper bags, baskets, old boots etc are great ways of locating kittens - pop them inside and wait for their re-appearance. It does depend on what sort of shot you are after of course. Gives you a chance to pre-focus which makes grabbing that special moment a little easier
My suggestions are:
1. A toy with little catnip in it. It will draw any cat's attention and will keep them busy for a while. Fix the toy to the surface if the cat gets too frisky.
2. An assistant to keep cat occupied and play with it. Some lovely poses may be snapped if shot promptly in series.
3. Maybe a servo autofocus ( AF-S or C-AF, whatever works better).
Unlike dogs that are generally obedient to people cats are self - sufficient and pay more attention to the environment. Very good advise above about bringing the cat in studio beforehand and playing with it a little. Maybe, ask to bring it with some little home rag and toy. Cats are very attached to place they live in. This may help the kitty to relax and feel safe.
And if nothing works - bad luck, it's just not in the mood for session. Pay respect to the living creature - however little it can be
What I did was use a fairly high ISO natural daylight through the window wide aperture.
played on the floor until it was tired-ish and layed down with her. 7D with a 50mm lens.
the last image was after the shoot zzzzzzzzzz!
Thank you, everyone for the suggestions. I'll give it all a try
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