Cat’s Pride and Cat Photography.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #UltimateLitter #CollectiveBias

I’ve been talking about my cat, Penny, a lot lately, right?

It’s because she’s often on my mind! She even stole the show during Athena’s vet appointment today, because we started talking about cats after I had used up all of my dog questions. I had a LOT more questions about the cat in the long run.

We joked that cats always look disdainful in their photos, and that it’s hard to take photographs of cats.

Before I became whatever I am now – a blogger and family/maternity/newborn/wedding/real estate/anything else photographer, I originally set out to only be a pet or wildlife photographer. Why? It seemed easier in some ways and harder in others. One of the biggest obstacles is that pets don’t take a lot of direction, other than the usual commands to sit, stay, lie down, shake, etc. And that’s for dogs! Another thing is that animals never look self-conscious. There is the disdainful problem with cats, but even that can be worked with. I have experience with pet photography. I have experience with pets.

Shopping for pets can be daunting, but luckily Walmart makes it easy for us. We pick out food, treats, grooming items, and toys. Then it’s time to buy cat litter. Cats are complicated, aren’t they? And shopping for them can be too. Luckily great litter is simple. We happily use Cat’s Pride® Fresh & Light Ultimate Care®. Why? The number one reason is that Penny is a clean cat, but you’d never know it from her little “living area” in our finished basement. She’ll drop her food around her bowl. She’ll drop pieces of cat litter around her litter box. Ultimate Care has low dust and tracking, and the strongest clumps.

We have finally noticed a difference since we started using it.

Our Walmart has an end cap display, and Ultimare Care is also easily found on the cat litter shelves in the Pet Care section.

Ultimate Care is US mined and has an all clay formula. It’s now over 50% lighter at ten pounds (†See packaging for details), and has 10+ day odor control & powerful absorption. (*Based on laboratory testing, when used as directed)

Why else do I love Ultimate Care? A good cat litter means a cleaner house. A cleaner house means a happier cat. Yes, believe it or not. Some cats are extremely finicky. Penny will yell at me if I don’t keep her area clean. Happier cats (and happier humans) means better photographs! I’m a professional photographer and people ask me ALL THE TIME how to take better photos of their cats. Cats can be so hard to photograph! That’s why I’m giving you Five Tips to Get Great Photos Of Cats:

1. Bring toys! Actually that’s how it works with babies and toddlers too, come to think of it. And dogs! Cats love toys. I try to dangle ones with sound near my camera lens so the cat will look at me with interest, and not disdain.

2. Watch your manual settings. You’re going to want to pay strong attention to your settings. I have a bright white cat and I used to have a black cat. I’d have to let more light into the lens with a dark cat than with Penny.

3. Never use flash. That’s actually a general rule for me with photography, unless you’ve got a bounce set-up. The light will irritate the cat’s eyes, bounce off metal features if you’re shooting shelter pets, and will darken out the background. Instead, try to get as much light as possible from natural settings – doors and windows are great. Cats love windows. You can also use an external flash with a diffuser if there is no available natural light. I try to get as creative as possible.

4. Use props that aren’t just toys. A beautiful blanket? A cardboard box? A throw pillow? A.. dollhouse? Strange but true. Cats are quirky animals and you never know what they’ll do, but it’s great to capture them naturally.

5. Get close. Fill the frame with that beautiful feline face. Focus on the eyes because like humans, they get catchlights and have unique colors. Get on the cat’s level and try unique perspectives. Up. Down. All around!

Cat’s Pride® does amazing work out there. They are proud to partner with the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation™ to help end the needless suffering of animals. With every sale of Fresh & Light Ultimate Care®, a portion of every sale supports the Foundation and their mission to end animal cruelty. They also partner with and support the American Humane Association.

No Purchase Necessary. The #UltimateLitter Sweepstakes begins on 3/15/16 at 12:00 A.M. ET and ends on 4/25/16 at 11:59:59 PM ET. Legal residents of the 50 US/DC only, 18+. Void where prohibited. For Official Rules, click below.

Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Cat Litter

For more info about Cat’s Pride® Fresh & Light Ultimate Care®, go HERE.

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  1. Going to have to try your tips with Elsa (the dog) now and see how that works. Every time I try to photo her with my iPhone though, she usually wants to jump in lap as I am doing it. So, will have to see how the DSLR and your tips fair with her now 🙂

  2. I love taking pics of my cats. I actually find them much easier than the dogs because the dogs can’t sit still! And the cats are always in such funny positions. One is constantly laying on her back with her paws up in the air. It’s hilarious. My biggest challenge is to capture the dog and the cat that are best buds, because they both have black fur and they tend to meld together.

    1. See in our house, Athena is easier than ANYONE. She totally poses beautifully and stays still. She gets it.
      It’s tough with the black fur!

  3. I sadly… Can not hang out with cats. I mean.. Animal cats. I hang out with some pretty “cool cats” on the regular – ha ha! But the animals = I am allergic. That being said. It’s always been a GOAL of mine to see BIG CATS in the wild… Ahem, an African Safari 😉 HONEY MOON OPTION… If I feel like getting MALARIA of course!

    1. I sure hope you do! We are opposites because I am such a dog person. But I do love and respect my cat, so there’s that. She’s talking to me right now!

  4. my sister had a dog named Penny. but it was named after Penny in Lost in Space 🙂

    they are all adorable. my cat would love this – I’ll enter giveaway thanks 🙂

  5. Hooray for cat pics! My cats pretty much roll their eyes when they see me inching towards them with my phone, but I think secretly they like the idea of becoming internet famous 🙂

    And, good cat litter is so important! My dream is to one day own a couple automatic kitty litter cleaners, ha ha.

  6. She is such a cutie pie, I love how her face is like–what are you doing with the camera, I know I am fabulous and you are lucky you get to take pics of me 🙂

  7. Those are some great tips and you’re right, they are extremely hard to photograph. We have 2 of them now and while Kitty my oldest may sit around (she’s lazy), Whitney the kitten will never stay long enough for me to photograph. Going to use your tips for sure. As for that litter, I don’t think I’ve seen it but will check, we use Fresh Step but I’m always up to try something new if it works.

    1. Well that’s nice that Whitney is so active! You need a fast shutter speed for kittens, just like you do for puppies and kids.
      I’ve heard of Fresh Step but never used it.

  8. I love the picture of Penny in the doll house. We have only had goldfish. So I’ve never tried taking pictures of pets before. But I imagine it would be kinda difficult.

    1. She made herself quite at home in the dollhouse! The key sometimes is to make sure she stays put while I grab the camera. It doesn’t always work.
      Taking photos of fish is probably its own challenge!

  9. Ah that duck quacking Penny of yours! My kids really feel that their lives are unfulfilled since we do not have a cat family member! Interesting note on the Cat’s Pride is that I use it with my bunny. Great stuff!

    1. That definitely intrigues me, as Scarlet has asked for a bunny. You may have seen her note on Facebook? Now I don’t know what to do! Will the cat hurt the bunny? Will the dog hurt the bunny? It’s all so confusing.

      1. Our dog and bunny are fast friends. Well, actually the bunny adores the dog and the dog endures the adulation and pouncing:)

  10. Awe this makes me miss my cat! I used to love taking photos of her and she was pretty compliant. My dog is really bad at photos and is always moving LOL!

  11. Hi Tamara, Penny is a beautiful looking cat and I love those eyes! And all your photos are lovely (which is why you are a photographer!).

    We were adopted by a no-longer-feral cat and her kittens, unfortunately there is only one kitten left, but they are both now spayed (that was no easy feat!) and they both enjoy a good stroking, when they are in the mood.

    Obviously because they are outdoor cats they don’t have litter trays, but I can’t believe how naturally clean they are. The kitten used to use the sand that collects on our flat roof, but now uses the old ask in our ash bucket as a toilet. My main concern is that one day she hops in it whilst the ash is still warm, luckily it’s not really that hot when I clean out the stove.


    1. It’s still challenging because I’m getting to know her, but I love the photographer and pet owner journeys!
      I love that you were adopted by a family of cats. No litter trays = awesome. Our cat is very dainty and clean, as much as possible, except with eating. It always surprises me in a good way!

    1. Oh dear! Dinah never bit at all but Penny occasionally does. She is learning not to because my reactions scare her I think. I jump out of my skin!

    1. haha, that’s what you said! My old cats were petrified of the kids, whereas Penny can’t get enough of them. It’s probably because they were there first and she’s still a baby.

  12. Yes! Animals are so hard to photograph! The pictures I have of our cat before we had to give her up were terrible. Wish I’d seen these tips before then. Though I might just have to give these tips a try with my sister’s dog when we go visit next month.

    1. Athena is my easiest model somehow. The cat requires a similar shutter speed to that of a kid, while Athena requires the same shutter speed to that of an adult. Goes to show you!

  13. Aw this makes me wish for a cat again! We used to have cats growing up. I love your photos Tamara, seriously! You should do their photos for their products lol.

    1. Aw, thank you! That makes me feel GREAT. I’d love to do product photography.
      I never had a cat until really Penny. Even the ones we used to have were feral and never really ours. They belonged more to our garden!

  14. Penny is the most beautiful cat, and you photograph her so well. I would love to have a cat, but my husband is allergic. Although, oddly, not to the dog….hmm…

    1. ha! My dad used to tell us he was allergic to cats and dogs. Then we got a dog. So I still don’t know if the cat thing was also a ruse.

  15. Your photos of your cat are beautiful. Thanks for the tips! I take a lot of photos of my cat too, but I usually just use my camera on my phone. Have a great afternoon!

  16. Such beautiful pictures!!! I will make note of these tips because my dog takes great pictures when he cooperates and when he doesn’t I can forget about it. Once I was taking pictures of family members and he was determined to get in all of their pictures…it was so bad that I had to crop him out of a few…that day I was not interested in taking his picture…HA!

    1. haha! Ah, that’s funny. My dog is usually so photogenic but she totally whiffed a photo opportunity recently. She ran away and hid under the bed. And I actually needed her in for work!

  17. Cats’ eyes are amazing, always of amazing colors. Probably better than mine, LOL. A cat in a doll house is pretty cute!

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