Instagrameowble: Tips To Shooting Cat Pics That Go Viral (Guest Post)
November 6, 2019
Daniel Keeling

As members of the cat lover’s society, it’s our duty to capture and share cat photos that will leave the Instagram community with their mouths wide open. Like a paparazzi to Hollywood celebrities, we’re always on undercover mode with our cameras, hoping our feline subject decides to channel their photogenic trait or start doing something hilarious.

A white cat lying on it's back looking upwards. There are leaves spread out around the cat

If you’re on the mission to capture viral-worthy photos of our feline companions, this post is for you. Check out these 7 easy-peasy tips to taking the best catto photos that will leave the Instameow community talking (or meme-ing) for months!

1. Play with your cat to get the best photos

Cats may be playful creatures, but they can be jerks and uncooperative divas sometimes, especially when they sense you’re taking photos of them. So smart and so annoying, but eh, we still love them for it.

A small silver tabby kitten playing with toys and looking up at the camera

Instead of getting frustrated, treat this diva moment as an opportunity to play with your cat. Bring out the box of cat toys and tease and play around with your feline friend. Have fun, but keep your camera on standby mode.

When s/he takes the bait, get your camera out and starting taking photos like a proud mom looking at her baby doing something incredible for the first time.

2. Try shooting during the golden hour

Photographers love shooting during the golden hour. Natural lighting, magical, I-have-a-side-quest-for-you vibes – it brings out the best of your subject. So why not try it with your cat? Make his/her beauty stand out more from the radiance of the glowing sun!

A small kitten sitting in grass with sunset light covering the kitten and grass

If your cat doesn’t mind hanging out outdoors, bring him/her into the yard and have fun taking plenty of Instagram-worthy photos. 

But if you have an introvert cat, don’t force him/her out just in the name of your Instagram feed. Do it indoors instead. Open the windows and let the sunshine flood in. Then encourage your cat to take the spot with the golden hour goodness, and burst the shutter button away.

3. Choose burst mode on your camera

The opportunity for adorable and funny cat photos come rarely like the blue moon, so if it comes, you’ll have to take as many photos as you can!

A small kitten looks directly at the camera

Instead of pressing the shutter button one by one to take photos, use your camera’s burst mode. If you’re using your smartphone’s camera, simply hold the shutter button to capture as many photos as you can. When you’re satisfied, you can select the best cat photos to keep. For SLR cameras, you can:

  • Find and click the button with an icon of overlapping rectangles
  • Search for a CL and CH abbreviation on the dial located at the top of your camera
  • Check the Quick Menu or Settings and search for burst or continuous mode

4. Play around with your angles

No matter what angle you look at them, cats are just oozing with adorableness and meme-ness (is that even a word?), even when they’re just hanging out by their favourite worn-out box or lying on their back dangerously inviting you to rub their fluffy bellies.

Taking photos in different angles increases your chance to capture that elusive perfect viral photo. So during your photoshoot with your feline master, make sure to capture every angle possible – top view, low-angle, over-the-rainbow, anything. Go with whatever angle you see fit with whatever your feline subject is doing. 

If you want a serious, professional-looking portrait of your cat, try shooting at a cat’s eye level, not a human’s. This way, you create more impact and show your cat’s unique personality from a cat’s point of view. Like this:

A white cat is sitting at a dinner table with it's head just about table-height. It is about to eat a salad.

All hail Smudge, a.k.a. Table Cat.

All hail Smudge, a.k.a. Table Cat.

5. Learn the one-hand technique

Taking good cat photos may need a lot of work, and most times, it would be a one-man work. That’s why you need to learn how to cope with the struggle of taking good photos while keeping your cat interested and happy the whole time.

A very fluffy ragdoll kitten is sitting, looking directly at the camera

This is where the one-hand technique proves handy. Basically, it’s about learning how to keep your camera steady in one hand and pushing the shutter button with your thumb while your other hand tries to catch your cat’s attention.

With a little practice, your hands would get accustomed to this handy technique. You can also use a monopod to help steady your shots.

6. Have loads of patience while taking cat photos

A long haired cat with a butterfly perched on its nose

Cats may not always be in the mood to have their photos taken. You have to understand that even with they’re born with photogenic traits, sometimes, they prefer us to admire their beauty through our own eyes, not through our camera lens.

If your cat’s feeling uncooperative, let her be. S/he’ll have his/her adorable moment whenever s/he feels like it, and it’s your duty to the cat-lovers community to watch out and capture these moments on camera!

What you can do instead is to take the time to spend more time with your cat. Play with your feline friend, or simply watch them do what they feel like doing. Your cats are not paid models – they’re your companion and greatest source of love and charm.

If you’re capturing photos of stray cats outdoors (because strays are as beautiful as cats with breed), you’ll need double extra patience coupled with extra caution. Remember, not all strays are sociable with humans. It would be ideal to bring a camera with a good lens for zooming so that you can take good photos at a distance.

7. Take photos every day

A small white kitten is being lifted by a pair of hands

The last tip is to keep taking photos every day. You never know, the best photo may just come unexpectedly on your camera by simply taking photos of your cat every day. Plus, you can practice some good angles and polish your photography skills if you keep practice shooting more.

Also, take photos not for the sake of Instagram, but just for fun. No need to pressure yourself with capturing viral-worthy photos. Have fun and enjoy your privilege as an adoring cat paparazzo.

It also pays to educate yourself more on how cats behave. This way, you know how to deal with your cats when they’re acting like those entitled celebrities. There are plenty of cat blogs out there like Purrfect N’ Pawesome to guide you on the mystery of cat behaviours.


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