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September 29, 2023

How to Take Great Photos of Your Black Cats

a black cat lays in an outdoor enclosure

Amanda Huggett

You may have heard black cats referred to as “voids” because of their ability to blend into dark backgrounds, with just eyes staring back at you. The sad reality is that in today’s social media-driven age, some people are hesitant to adopt black cats because they are not as photogenic or Instagrammable.

We would like to disagree and encourage you to give these kitties a chance! Black cats often overlooked for other reasons based in myth, but we know them to be loving, kind and friendly souls just like any other cat.

While it may be a wee bit trickier to capture an all-black cat’s fur in a photo, it certainly is possible. And you don’t even need a professional camera or fancy editing skills! Next time you want to snap some pics of your black-furred friend, give these tips from our friend Makenna at Purfect Pose Photography a whirl.

Consider Your Lighting

Like with any photograph, look for good sources of natural lighting such as in front of a window. But the key here is to take your photo with your back to the window and your cat in front of you. Capturing your cat head-on in a window is sure to give you too much brightness, cast awkward shadows and make your photos feel washed out.

Try putting a moveable object such as a cat bed or tower in front of the window so that you can move it around to find the best spot to complement the light.  

Use Backgrounds

Pillows can make great, easy backdrops for your photos. Try and catch your kitty when he or she is sleepy and pop a pillow behind ‘em for an impromptu studio session. Bonus points if it matches the color or pattern of whatever they’re already laying on! This eliminates anything else in the background and makes your cat the star of the show.

@the.cattams.family Cat photography tip: use pillows as backdrops! #cat #photography #photomagic #photoshoot #photoshop #photo #catsoftiktok ♬ Golden Hour: Piano Version – Andy Morris

Adjust Your Phone’s Settings

Even standard cell phone cameras come with various settings you can play with to maximize the end result of your photos. Look for your phone’s exposure setting (if you’re on an iPhone, look for the arrow at the top) and move the slider around to find the most flattering look.

You can also edit the photo and apply any other effects that make your cat look his or her best self.

Train Your Cat to Sit Still

Lure your cat to the desired photo location with a favorite toy, treat or call. Use motivations or clicker training to help encourage your cat to sit still while you snap the perfect pic. (Watch our events calendar for a free clicker training seminar in 2024!)

Additional Black Cat Photography Tips

Other tricks you can try include:

  • Give them a good grooming so their fur looks its best.
  • Take the photo just after they ate or woke up from a nap.
  • Get someone else to stand behind you to attract their attention to you by dangling a toy or making a funny sound.
  • Watch out for cluttered or busy backgrounds.
  • Try to avoid zooming in too much or using flash.

Find even more cat photography tips on Makenna’s “Photography tips” playlist on TikTok! We also thank her for taking photos of our shelter cats to make their adoption profiles shine as bright as each of their personalities!

Good luck! Share your best black cat photos with us on our social media; we’d love to see your results after practicing these tips!


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