This is more for people who know lots about cats but not much about cameras.
There are four sorts of cats from the photographers point of view;
Friendly cats, that want to achieve maximum transfer of fur to your clothing.
Scaredy cats, that have a zone of tolerance and as soon as you enter, they run away.
Indifferent cats, that have seen it all before and are not interested in you right now.
Hungry cats, tend to want your attention a whole lot more than normal. Note: - this is a temporary state.
There are other cat states, like dead, and asleep, fighting, and procreating, but they are not really relevant to the photographic process. Indifferent cats tend to be the ones that produce the best photos, followed by friendly ones. Scaredy cats are a waste of time trying to photograph.
RULE 0 :- Always get your subject's permission / model release before starting.
RULE 1 :- Compact Point & Shoot Zooms are the devil's camera. If you must use one, turn the flash off and go outside.
RULE 2 :- Take the photo from cat height, or mouse height.
RULE 3 :- There is no point spending more than 5000 US$ on camera equipment for photographing cats,. They won't be impressed, and you won't get any better photos. The best focal length is 100-130mm (or thereabouts) - you can take big, flat shots without getting in your subject's face. I have a nikon F100 and 80-200mm AFS and they work very nicely. Or a 50mm lens allows you to drive the camera with one hand while the other is occupied entertaining the subject.
RULE 4 :- Whilst the cat is very important, a good photo becomes a great photo when you have good surroundings. I often go to picturesque places, and then start looking for cats, or trouble.
RULE 5 :- Don't bother trying to take photos inside unless you know what you are doing. And if you've read this far, then you probably don't.
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