Tips For A Great Cat Photo With Pawsh Photography

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Today’s special post comes courtesy of the fabulous Lisa Peterson of Pawsh Photography. She captured our Chief Purr Officer earlier this year and the results were spectacular.

Lynx point Siamese cat on a tan couch looking off into the distance against a gray background
Look at that cutie!

Lisa was kind enough to share some tips on how to get a great photo of your cat. This is definitely not my area (most of my photos of Z are pure luck as I happen to have a spectacular subject) so I’m very grateful she took the time to share her wisdom!


As a pet photographer, my clients often ask me how they can take better photos of their cats.

Whether you’re working with a single cat or a whole litter, the environment in which you take your photos can make or break the final result. In this blog post, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for creating the ideal setting for your very own cat photoshoot, right there in your Minneapolis back yard. Or cozy couch.

First and foremost, it’s important to think about the lighting. Cats are naturally drawn to light and will often position themselves in front of windows or other sources of natural light. This can make for some beautiful, natural-looking photos, but it’s important to be aware of the direction of the light and how it falls on your cat. If the light is too harsh, it can create harsh shadows and wash out your cat’s features. To avoid this, try diffusing the light with a sheer curtain – put it between the window and your cat.

Busy backgrounds are distracting. If you’re shooting indoors, try using a plain wall or a simple piece of fabric as a background. A plain couch or quilt on a bed is ideal. If you’re shooting outside, look for a natural background that complements your cat’s colors and features, such as a patch of green grass or a colorful flower bed. And stay in the open shade for best results.

When it comes to props, less is more. A few simple props, such as a toy or a piece of catnip, can be a great way to encourage your cat to engage with the camera, but too many props can be overwhelming and take away from your cat’s natural beauty. Think simple, clean and fun.

Be sure to keep your cat’s comfort in mind. Cats are naturally curious, but they can also be skittish, so it’s important to be mindful of your cat’s body language and behavior. If your cat seems uncomfortable or stressed, take a break. Try again another day.

And if you find it challenging to read your cat’s body language, or you’re struggling with your cat’s behavior in general, I highly encourage you to work with a cat behaviorist. Find one that is patient and is fully certified. I recommend Joey from Class Act Cats. Joey will work with cats and their human family to resolve issues and help make a peaceful home for all inhabitants.

The most important ingredient is patience. Cats can be unpredictable and it can take time to get the perfect shot, so be prepared to wait for the right moment. An industry secret – that magical moment may never come, so focus (HA!) on what you can do.

Keep it playful and relaxed, and your phone will be full of photos you love.

About the author: Lisa Peterson is a proud Crazy Dog Mom and a dog and cat photographer. She founded Pawsh Photography because she want every pet owner to have beautiful images of their beloved fur babies. She has been named one of the top 8 pet photographers in Minneapolis and has won multiple awards for her work.

Need help getting your cat ready for a photo shoot?

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Picture of Joey Lusvardi

Joey Lusvardi

Joey Lusvardi CCBC is an IAABC Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and professional cat trainer based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He runs a behavior consultation and cat training service, Class Act Cats, where he helps cat parents address a variety of unwanted behaviors. Joey is available for in home sessions locally or virtual sessions wherever you are located!