Cat Photography 101 | Monique Rodriguez | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (1h 4m)
    • 1. Cat Photography 101 Part 1 Tips, Backgrounds & Lighting

      22:44
    • 2. Cat Photography 101 Part 2 Camera Settings

      18:54
    • 3. Cat Photography 101 Part 3 Post Processing 1

      21:57
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About This Class

Cat Photography 101 is purrfect for the beginner photographer.

Created for Bloggers, animal rescue and shelter photographers and cat lovers. Approx. 1 hour of video instruction and 15 page ebook. Topics include: Animal Photography Tips, Backgrounds, Lighting, Camera Settings and Post Processing. 

Download the .pdf file to follow along with the videos under the "Your Projects" tab.

Taught by Monique Renee of http://www.silverpawstudio.com/

Sign up for the Pack Bulletin http://bit.ly/thepackbulletin for more tips.

Weekly videos to improve your animal foster and adoptable pet portraits, tips for improving the snapshots of your pets and pro photographer insigts.

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/silverpawstudiofortcollins.

Meet Your Teacher

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Monique Rodriguez

Furtographer

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Hello, I'm Monique. Pet & People Furtographer at Silver Paw Studio based out of Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. 

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Transcripts

1. Cat Photography 101 Part 1 Tips, Backgrounds & Lighting: how you Monique Rodrigo's here of Silver Pas studio. I am a pet and people photographer based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. I photograph pets and people for private commission Portrait's commercial work, and I photographed pets at the local rescues every week. One of the questions I get asked quite a bit is how I get the pictures of the kitties. And so that's how this course cat photography 101 began. This is a beginning course sign. It's perfect for bloggers, people who work with cat rescues or foster care for cats. Or if you just want to improve the snapshots of your personal kitty in this course, these are the things we're going to learn. First, I have my top three tips for pet photography. Before ever picking up a camera, we'll talk about choosing your camera between a DSLR and a phone. Different backdrop considerations. Your camera settings. With lighting, you can choose the tension grabbers that I have to get the kitty. The look at the camera and five go to images and a little bit on post production have a lot to go over. So I hope you have your notebooks ready. I have my top three pet photography tips before ever picking up a camera. They are safety behavior and patients. So with safety, you want to be sure that you have your cat and your people safe, so their physical safety is what you need to keep in mind for the kiddies. Keep in mind food allergies. Don't bring a treat that that cat maybe can't have any recent injuries or if they're older or even an illness, especially if you're at a cat rescue. Be sure to ask all those questions for physical safety of the cat. You want to keep the people safety in mind, too. If your cat doesn't feel like modeling today and might lash out a little bit, then you're gonna give them the day off. I think so. Keep in mind the safety of the pets and the people. You also wanna have your environment safe in. If you are putting your cat say on a table or a chair, having assistant close by because that's a higher surface. In this course, we're not going to be talking about outdoor photography, But if that's something you choose to do, I always recommend having them on a leash. And so my second tip is for behavior. So learn some cat behavior, and that's a little bit of a secret sauce to getting those pictures. If you know and can anticipate what they might do next, then you're more likely to get the pictures that you want. There are a lot of ways that you can learn about cat behaviour. You may have local resource is ask your local cat shelter or animal shelter. They may have a behaviorist or someone that they work with in your town. There are online classes and blog's and you confined behavior books. So really do some studying on behavior. And the third, of course, is patients. And everyone says that you need patients with pet photography. And it's especially so with cat photography because, as you know, cats can often have their own agenda. So be sure that you have a lot of patients. And if it looks like everyone is getting a little burnout, go ahead and stop the session for the day and start up fresh another time. So those are my top three pat photography tips before ever picking up a camera safety behavior and patients okay, So what kind of camera should you use in this course where you'll talk about DSL, ours and cell phones? They both have their pros and cons. What's great about the DEA sellers and the cell phones? Their quality has increased over time and their prices gunned down. So in my studio I use a DSLR camera, which is these figure kinds that you can change lenses out. So the advantages of using a DSLR is that you have quite a few settings. You can have a lot more control over the settings you can change out. The ones is if you blank the quality is usually pretty high, and you can use an external flash. The cons to using a DSLR is that maybe all those settings make it more complex and higher learning curve there are bigger and heavier, and they tend to cost a little bit more than a cell phone. So what if you only have a cell phone? That's fine. You can get some fantastic photographs of your cat with a soft Um so everybody has a cell phone. The pros to having a cell phone is that it's light pretty much you always have it with you , and the quality has gone up quite a bit over the years. Of course, the cons to using a phone is that you don't have as much variety and the settings that you can choose. And although the quality has gone up, it's not nearly the quality of the image you can get from a DSLR, and you can't use an external flash generally. So when choosing your DSLR versus a cellphone, those are some things to keep in mind and we'll be going over waste. He is both in this course. Okay, so now that you've got your safety in line, you've learned some behavior. You're nice and patient, and you've chosen your camera. What is your environment? Where you using as a background in your images? Do whatever it takes to simplify the image and have it focused on just your kitty. So the 1st 1 would be environment. Whatever environment you're in, if you're photographing your kitty in your house or someone's home or office than declutter that as much as you can, maybe they're on a cat tree or on the back of a couch or chair. Think of what's behind the kitty as well, so you could definitely use the environment that you're in. If you're at a rescue, think of the environment. You're in there. Sometimes you have to photograph them in their kennel, and so that can simplify the area as well. The other option is to use an actual backdrop. The materials that I generally use are either paper or fabric. Now fabric is really fun, I think, because you can just go down to the fabric store and pick out whatever you want. Of course, you can also go to a camera supply store or get an actual photography background. Or you can use a blanket like a throw blanket. The advantages of using fabric are it's washable and reusable. It's pretty comfortable for the kiddies, and you have lots of different color options. I use generally a fleece, a sturdy fleece fabric for my backgrounds, for two reasons. They're really washable because I always wash these after every single use, and there can be wrinkle free so love using fabrics as a backdrop in cat photography. Another material you can use is paper. I've just gone down to a craft or teacher supply store and bought rolls of paper. The great thing about paper is that they have a lot of different color options, and you can do more, um, decorative type sets. For example, at the Cat rescue, I work with their main color in their logo is orange. And so they asked to have ah, special set for this kitten on an orange backdrop. So I just went down to the craft store and bought a roll of orange paper. And then I was able to just recycle it after I used it, Another example of where he's paper was for a graduation or school themed kitty photos. We just bought white paper and some graduation stickers and made a little mini set with the paper. And then I could just recycle the paper afterwards. Whether you choose fabric or paper, I suggest starting with a neutral color first in my studio, I use gray quite a bit because every single cat looks good on a grey background, and it's nice and neutral. Whatever use that you are you or the rescue or your blogged has gray is a nice place to start or just a plain neutral color. So now you've got fabric or paper. How do you use it with your cat photography? In my studio? I have made a table studio set, and this is just a plastic three by three folding card table. I like this table because it's nice and portable. We have attached PVC piping that's about the same size of the table three by three, and I just take little clamps from the hardware store to clamp my fabric or my paper onto it. This table is great because it fits in many rooms that you're in and many spaces and any size cap will fit on it. If you don't have a table like this, you can still use your fabric or your paper. Just use. Maybe you're comfy chair and use the back of it. A couple of kitchen tables, table chairs. You can clamp your paper or your fabric onto that and then sleep it down onto your floor. Ah bookshelf works fine, too. You do want to consider if you're putting paper or fabric onto the floor. What is underneath that? For example, if you have fabric on a wood floor, the fabric is going to be slippery. And if you have paper on carpet. The paper is going to wrinkle. So those were the different backgrounds that I recommend and making it as simple as possible. So all the focus is on your cute kitties. Now you have to decide on your lighting options, and this course will talk about three different types of lighting, first of all, being natural light. So a big window. Or maybe you have a screen door. The 2nd 1 will be continuous lights, and the 3rd 1 my favorite, is using a small flash in any of these lighting situations. I always suggest using a stand in model before you ever put your kitty in your set. This way you can really fiddle with all of your settings, and you're lighting style before you put the kitty in there, because you may only get a few images, so have some kind of a stand in before you get your cat. So the first lighting type is natural light, and most of us, of course, have access to natural light. Find a big window in your area, or maybe even a doorway with a screen or a storm door, even out the rescues. There can be a big window that you can use. One of the great things about natural light is it's available to everyone, of course, and it has a really pretty soft quality to it. You can also use either your cell phone or a DSLR with natural light pick up window or doorway in your home. That doesn't have super harsh light at the time that you're going to take these pictures. But if it seems a little bright, you can always clamp some sheer curtains up on that window, and it'll soften the light quite a bit. So if you're going to photograph your kitty from the side, Ah, lot of people have this situation where they have a couch right up next to a window. Or maybe their cat tree is right there, and you're gonna have the light coming from the window onto the side of your kitty's face. Well, what happens is that side is bright and the other side of their face and their whole body is going to be in more shadow. The easiest way to fill in the light on that side is just with a Reflektor. Reflektor can be as simple as a piece of foam core from a hobby store or office supply store. They come in many different sizes. You can have a small one that you take on location, or you could have a pretty big one. Another reflector that you can use is the store bought from a camera store, and some of these fold up pretty small and have different colors to them. So if you are set up next to the window and you have that sidelight, you can put the reflector on the opposite side of the window, and this will bounce the light back onto the side that's in the shadow. Move the board or the reflector around until you get just the right light. Using your cat dull as a stand in really helps at this point, because you can really see where the shadows and the light are going to be on your kitty before you put your kitty in the scene. The other way to use window light is having a straight on to your kitty, and sometimes you will think about this because maybe your couch is up against that wall or your chair or the cat tree just swivel everything. 180 degrees. So the light is behind you and falling directly onto your kitty. Often you won't even need a reflector. In this circumstance, light is nice and pretty and flattering. The other way to use win, delight and natural way is from behind. Now you've probably tried this before, where your cat is sitting on the back of a couch and the windows behind them, and they've become completely dark as a silhouette, and that is the risk. But if you're looking to make a silhouette picture, this is the perfect scenario. Is toe have light behind them, the window or the door way behind them. But if you'd like to have more light in their face or on them with the window behind them, just go ahead and take your reflector again and put it right in front of them. You can be pretty stealthy with this if they're sleeping, because a lot of times they'll curl up on the back of a chair or a couch, and you can just put that reflector underneath them and add just that little bit of extra light onto their face. Another type of light you can choose is a continuous light. Maybe it's winner or it's a little bit darker in your home. This could be a way for you to go. A couple of options would be a clamp light like you would get from a hardware store. Be sure to get a build that is cool. You don't want something really, really warm. Got to keep that safety in mind. Another light would be from a photography store, the little led panels. These have come down in price and fit in smaller spaces. Some of the things you want to consider with these continuous lights is whether their battery operated or have a cord. So you need to have them nice and sturdy, whether you need a stand for them and where that stand is going to go again. So it's nice and sturdy and safe. The's don't the seem bright, but they're never as bright as you think they're going to be. So keep that in mind to you need to adjust your camera settings. For these, you can use a reflector with continuous lights, just like you did with your window light and your natural light. Simply place a reflector opposite your light source and you can fill in any shadows that way, generally with using a continuous light. I always suggest you don't have it on your camera or too near your camera just after the side a bit and up above your kitty, so the shadow is minimal. If if you have this light shining right in your cat's face, you're going to get those green alien eyes, and you're going to get a big shadow behind them. So taking the light just a step away from your camera and raising it up above, you'll have much more flattering light. And then use your reflector in those images to and see how you can add any additional light to the shadow side. The third type is off camera flash, which generally is called a speed light. So with this flash, this is working with a your DSLR camera, which has a little what's called a hot shoe on the top. Most of your cameras like this will have that. This is a really great kit. It is just an off brand, and it was really inexpensive. What I like about that is, if it does fall over, it's not really that expensive. It's not hot and it's really small. But the great thing about using a flashes it will freeze the action. So if you have a kitten that's running really quickly or you're trying to do the feather toy, you want to stop that action. It's much easier to do that with a flash. It'll stop the action. So this kid comes with a little foot, a little bag and the transmitter and receiver, which just means that talks to the camera. That's it. It helps your flash talk to your camera and has basic batteries in it. I have a set of rechargeable double A batteries, and I charge him up after every session, which is about every two hours of use. And then these both have batteries as well. This all these are a little bit different, but this is pretty basic. It all goes together like this, and then if you want to put it on a little foot, it comes with a little foot, and then that just sits on your table like that sits wherever you need it to, and then you have this. This piece that talks to it that goes on top of the camera seems easy, right? Another piece of equipment I used with this flash a lot. It's just your basic light stand. You can get the camera supply stores. You can borrow them. Um, it just has a screw on the top that screws in to the bottom of this, and it just is another way to set your flash wherever you want it to be. The main thing about using a flash like this it's two main things. Take it off your camera and pointed away, Bounce it off something else. A lot of times, people will not use flash because their cats get those green alien eyes. And they look really odd because the flashes going straight at them and you want to avoid that, you avoid that by taking it off your camera. So if you have one of these flashes at home, just get one of these transmitters and receivers. They'll talk to your camera, and you can do all kinds of things. Are that's pretty cool. So I've got this stand. I use a lot this foot when you are trying to decide where you want to put this. The foot is nice because maybe you want to put it up on a bookshelf or a stand like here or window. So something like that, you can definitely do that. So be sure to keep that foot with your kit. I've used that a lot at the rescues where maybe I don't have a lot of room. They rearranged everything. They have a tiny space on these. Just go on top of all the kennels and this flash will bounce and fill in where I need it to for here. We are gonna put it on this stand, though little sticky. So it's just your regular little lightweight stand. It doesn't have to be super super heavyweight. These are very light, and as you can see, it just screws into the bottom. And then I will set this to the side of my studio set, and this is a low enough ceiling out. I will just bounced off the ceiling. So the two things I said was to take it off your camera and then bounce it. So this is I'll be standing there about 45 degrees for me on 45 up bounced off the ceiling . I've done this in a big meeting hall, and it's bounced just fine. You just adjust your settings. Thank you so much for learning everything and watching this cat photography 101 I hope this has been amazing resource for you and that you're able to improve your photographs for whatever you're using them for. For bloggers, perhaps it'll increase the traffic on your website or help clarify your message for fosters and rescues. Hopefully, this will help get those kiddies adapted even quicker. And for your personal cats, maybe you'll find something that you are proud display in your home or put in your scrap IQ on your coffee table. Most of all, though, I hope you had fun with your kitty during these photo sessions. But they have lots of treats, lots of fun time playing with you and that that's what they will remember and you'll remember afterwards. If you have any questions about this course, feel free to email me or visit my Web page. I'm on all kinds of social media, and I would love to hear your feedback and anything that you have questions on. I'm here for you 2. Cat Photography 101 Part 2 Camera Settings: how you Monique Rodrigo's here of Silver Pas studio. I am a pet and people photographer based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. I photograph pets and people for private commission Portrait's commercial work, and I photographed pets at the local rescues every week. One of the questions I get asked quite a bit is how I get the pictures of the kitties. And so that's how this course cat photography 101 began. This is a beginning course sign. It's perfect for bloggers, people who work with cat rescues or foster care for cats. Or if you just want to improve the snapshots of your personal kitty in this course, these are the things we're going to learn. First, I have my top three tips for pet photography. Before ever picking up a camera, we'll talk about choosing your camera between a DSLR and a phone. Different backdrop considerations. Your camera settings. With lighting, you can choose the tension grabbers that I have to get the kitty. The look at the camera and five go to images and a little bit on post production have a lot to go over. So I hope you have your notebooks ready when you're choosing your camera settings. A lot of people are very comfortable just staying with the auto settings, and that can work for a lot of these situations that we're talking about in this course. But if you're ready to move up and use some manual settings, here are some of my pointers When choosing your settings for natural and continuous light, Here are some settings to start with. For your shutter speed, I recommend a minimum of 1 250th of a second. Now, if you're in a lower light environment, you may have to make that a slower shutter speed, such as 1 125th of a second. Just keep in mind the faster you can have your shutter speed, the less motion blur you'll have in your image for your aperture. Ideally, I like to stay at about 3.53 point two to around 5.6. If you have a larger aperture, say 2.8, it just is a little bit harder to focus on their eyes off course. If you want a smaller aperture like F eight, that would be okay. If you have enough light, you'll just have a little bit more in focus in your depth of field in natural and continuous. Light your eyes so settings can very quite a bit and get fairly high high being about 2500 and the higher the number of your I s o the more grainy or noisy your image will be. So the lower the quality. So if you can get that I s O to an even lower number, you'll have a higher quality image. But when you're working in natural and continuous light, depending on your camera and your lenses, you may have to increase your I S o. Some tips for using natural and continuous light are maybe trying shutter priority mode sent your shutter to that minimum shutter speed of 1 250th of a second. And let your camera set the other settings. Maybe try using your little cat doll your stand in doll and take some test shots on shutter priority and see what the camera decides for your I S O and your temperature. Another tip for using natural and continuous light is you may need to adjust your light source, so maybe you'll need to get closer to your window or farther away, maybe a different time of day. Or if you're using a continuous light, you may have to add another light or get closer or farther away again. I recommend using your test subject doll. You are some examples off my settings in a natural and continuous light environment so you can see in these images I have tried to set my shutter speed as fast as I can say around 1 200 toe 1 250th of a second. My Apertura is around that 3.2 to 3.5 and my I s o is 1600. This is using natural light from a large window nearby when choosing your settings while using a flash or the speed light. Here are some numbers to start with your shutter speed. With most cameras, maximum can be 1 2/100 of a second. Now, if you try to make that a faster shutter speed, your flash simply can't keep up for your aperture. You're going to be about the same as you were in natural and continuous light. At around 3.5 to 5.6, you're I s so can be much lower flashes have a much brighter output. And so your eyes so can be much lower around the 200 to 400 range, which increases the quality overall of your image. A couple of tips when using a flash. If you have a simple speed light flash like I've used in this course, there are up and down arrows to increase your flash output and decreases. And a full power is 1/1. If you find that too bright, you can decrease that. Say, cut it in half to 1/2 or half, or you may need to move your speed light. If your room is a little larger or smaller, move your light around. Bounce it off a different wall Again. I would suggest using your little test kitty doll to try this out. In my example, images you can see when using a flash. My shutter speed never goes over 1 2/100 of a second. My apertures right around that 3.5 to 4.0, and my eyes I was much lower between old, 254 100 which gives us a much higher quality images. When choosing your settings on a some phone, they may be represented differently. For your shutter speed, you may need to go to a sports mode or action mode, and this should increase your shutter speed. Four year aperture. Often times there are icons that look like a flower or a mountain and that generally adjust your aperture. I esos very, quite a bit on cell phones. You can have auto Onley all the way through to manual. So really, check your phone and see what how you're able to adjust your I S o some cell phones. You can download a different camera app and have much more control over all of these settings, so check your phone style and manufacture, and that may be an option for you. A couple of tips for using a cell phone is when you press to set your focus. If you press and hold, that sometimes can set your focus and exposure. So how light or dark your images? I've tried this on a couple of different brands of phones, and it's worked, so try it on yours. Some phones when you press and hold for the exposure, you'll even get a slider bar to fine tune the image brighter and darker. Try doing this in the area you want the most ideal lighting. Another tip is to try your phone and an H D R mode, which is high. Dynamic range. HDR is very helpful if you have part of your image and shadow and part brightly lit, especially for those images where the window maybe behind your kitty. Try using HDR mode on your phone and it will help with some of those extra bright, extra dark areas. All right, now that you have all of your lighting set up and you've tested everything with your kitty doll, you're ready to bring your cat onto the set. But how do you get them to look at the camera? This is probably one of the biggest questions that I get asked. How do you get them toe look where you want to look, how to get their attention, and I have three different ways that I get attention of cats. As you know, cats are very different from dogs in what they are attracted to, so I have visual audio and taste and smell for visual. I always have my magic wand. Now this is similar to like a feather toy. Most people have a feather toy. I've made a magic wand. It's just a spoon with wrapping ribbon on it. Kiddies really love this. You could do the same thing with your feather toy. The trick to using a toy, though, is to try slow movements and then a flick. They really like to follow the flick and have it straight towards your camera. So if you're teasing the kitty a little bit with the ribbons or the feather, then you flick it right towards your camera. They're gonna look right at you. So that is the trick to using toys with your kitty's. It can't be fairly distracting in a shelter, so having something that's novel is helpful and over. Cats don't always care about toys, but try it anyway. I take this every set that I go on, some kind of visual toy that they like, that you can flick. Suddenly they really like that. The second thing that you could try this sounds. Cats are very particular. They like soft, subtle sounds. Often I will start with just my voice with a small, soft whistling sound and keep in mind if your cameras right in front of your face, they may not hear this as well, but that's OK there. They have keen ears and want to really listen into what their heat listening for. And so I'll make a little sound just like this, and that is novel enough that they'll look for a minute. But be ready to take that picture because they'll be looking and the look straight for you when you make that little sound just like that, Another sound that you could try is a crinkle like If you have a rapper, maybe you have their treats ready to go. Obviously, you know, a lot of people notice about dogs. Cats will look for a crinkle sound to it could even just be a tiny piece of paper. They'll listen for that small sound and the other sound that they like a small, like scratching noises. If you have something close by that you can just scratch on a little bit a piece of paper, anything they like that subtle, subtle scratching some No, listen for that, too. So those are the ways that cats you could get their attention audio. The other thing is with their taste and their smell. Cats. I always have some kind of treats. Wherever I'm at, whether I'm on private commission, I have clients get me treats or, if you have treats at home or the shelters almost always have treats, make it those really high value ones that they don't get very often. That smells really good, and it's a special treat on. And then if they're really dry and small, you can edit them out of the picture as well. But treats can really come in handy more often than you'd think. But make sure again that there really high value and just put him in the set. And if the cats like treats, they'll go for it. It doesn't always work. So another thing that you can try for kiddies is catnip, and there's actually two formulas for catnip. You can get the dry, leafy flakes and spread that around, and you can get some really cute pictures of your kitty rolling around in the set. Those upside down pictures, whether pause reaching out and their um, their ears were pressed to the table. Those air really, really cute them rolling around, but you do have to edit out all those little green leans. So another thing you can get is spray, which I call clear catnip. You could just spray this on the set. One of the things about cats again with those sounds don't spray this wall there on set or near them. You either spray this in the area before they get there, or I have been known to turn all the way around, just sprayed on my hand and then run my hand on the fabric of the set. Probably don't want to use this for your paper backdrops because it's gonna discolor. But this is great because they can still smell it and they'll still roll around. But there's nothing to add out, so clear catnip is the way to go. Those are the three ways my little secrets to getting the kitty to look at the camera and stay in the set. Have you ever been in that moment where you just get kind of a brain freeze? You've taken the one image and you don't know where to go from there. Well, this section we're gonna talk about my five go to images and a list. I'm here for you. It's tight, middle, wide, epic and creative. So what are all those if you break them down so you're tight is close up, just maybe on their face, typical to what you'd see in a school portrait or a business portrait. And so those are really nice to get that detail in their face. Maybe their ears get that look right into the camera. It's always a good idea to zoom in and get that tight image. So next would be Middle Middle means just adding a little bit more of the cat's body. Sometimes this is called a 3/4 image, so if your kid he's sitting, it would include a little bit more of, say, their chest. Maybe there's some cool coloring laying down maybe just goes right to right behind their shoulders. So the middle shot is a good one to get to, because you can get some of the features that they have. Next is wide, and sometimes this is where people start. This is the whole body of your kitty, so they could be sitting or laying down. It doesn't matter. This is just includes the whole image of your kitty for all of the tight middle wide. Be sure to get them horizontal and vertical. Be sure to move your camera. It may not seem like it's gonna work at the time, but get those images because you don't know the next one is epic. Epic just means that your kitty is much smaller in the scene than the rest of the environment, and Epic is really great to add text onto later. So if you're a blogger, this could be your kitty is down in the lower corner and you have bullet points of your block article for a rescue or a foster. Maybe you're making a poster and your case off to one side, and you have a bunch more background. And this is where you write your kitty's name and stats about them for their adoption portfolio. And for your personal Katie. Maybe you just want to add something fun about them. For scrap booking Epic is a lot of fun and can be used for a lot of ways. I always try to get epic because, especially for rescues and fosters, they may need this for all their marketing, say, for a billboard or a poster or anything that they're going to do later. Again. Be sure to get those horizontal and vertical with plenty of room around. Add any text and the last one's creative so creative could be a lot of different ways. It could be a really close up of their nose or their whiskers. Another feature like their toes. It could be changing the angle. Maybe you tilt the horizon or you get a little higher or a little lower. Get different perspectives. Once you do these five go to images. Your brain will start to think of all kinds of other creative things you can dio and remember to do all five. Every time you change a prop, a location or a backdrop. When you do, you're gonna have a huge portfolio of images that you can use. Thank you so much for learning everything and watching this cat photography 101 I hope this has been amazing resource for you and that you're able to improve your photographs for whatever you're using them for. For bloggers, perhaps it'll increase the traffic on your website or help clarify your message for fosters and rescues. Hopefully, this will help get those kiddies adapted even quicker. And for your personal cats, maybe you'll find something that you are proud display in your home or put in your scrap IQ on your coffee table. Most of all, though, I hope you had fun with your kitty during these photo sessions. But they have lots of treats, lots of fun time playing with you and that that's what they'll remember and you'll remember afterwards. If you have any questions about this course, feel free to email me or visit my Web page. I'm on all kinds of social media, and I would love to hear your feedback and anything that you have questions on. I'm here for you. 3. Cat Photography 101 Part 3 Post Processing 1: how you Monique Rodrigo's here of Silver Pas studio. I am a pet and people photographer based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. I photograph pets and people for private commission Portrait's commercial work, and I photographed pets at the local rescues every week. One of the questions I get asked quite a bit is how I get the pictures of the kitties. And so that's how this course cat photography 101 began. This is a beginning course sign. It's perfect for bloggers, people who work with cat rescues or foster care for cats. Or if you just want to improve the snapshots of your personal kitty in this course, these are the things we're going to learn. First, I have my top three tips for pet photography. Before ever picking up a camera, we'll talk about choosing your camera between a DSLR and a phone. Different backdrop considerations. Your camera settings. With lighting, you can choose the tension grabbers that I have to get the kitty. The look at the camera and five go to images and a little bit on post production have a lot to go over. So I hope you have your notebooks ready. Let's talk a little bit about post production, even if you have set up your ideal lighting and everything. Sometimes there's some things you want to dio in postproduction later, and you can do this either in your cell phone or tablet or on a desktop computer. The three things that I find I do quite a bit in post production is lightning or adjusting Theo exposure in an image cropping and minor spot removal so we'll show a little bit about my workflow for those Ah, we're going to talk about some final usage. Maybe you need to crop it for different social media. You want to add some pictures or you want toe. Use these pictures for scrapbooking and a little bit about the APS that I use most in my studio. Welcome to the editing portion of cat photography. 101 We're going to be working on the images that we took in this course, So we have Zoe here, where we photographed her at her home, and then we have Cypress and Darren that we photographed at the Cat Rescue. The program that I'm using is Adobe product called Light Room, and it's paired with a photo shop. It's a subscription based program, but any of your editing program should be able to do the the simple steps that we're gonna talk about in this portion of the course and the three things that I want to talk about. As's faras post processing your image are lightning, the image cropping and spot removal Lighting is something that I see the most trouble with if you go to especially like an adoption page, if there is a dark image than people will tend to scroll past that. So you want to make sure you have nice, bright images. I believe the same is true for your blog's efforts. You want to make sure those air nice, bright, impactful images. And if you are, ah, want to print a picture of your personal kitty off course, you need to have all these in place to. So these air all mixed together with window light and reflector and using our speed lights so we'll talk just a little about that as we go along. These are straight out of the camera, so this is one of the very first pictures we took of, though, and you can see it's dark overall in light room, I simply go to develop. If you're already in your desktop or phone based program, you probably just go to the editing function and to increase the overall exposure in light room is called exposure, and in a lot of programs that also is called exposure. If the overall images is pretty close, I also suggest lightning the shadows. You may not even need to lighten the overall image another way that you can lighten and darken your images with the contrast feature. Be careful. I'm going to exaggerate this so you can see what happens if you go too far. With contrast, if you lessen the contrast a little, it lightens. If you lesson a lot, it just becomes really fuzzy and washed out. If you go the other way, it just becomes too dark and stark. So be really gentle with using the contrast feature. So let's do that on a couple of the images. Here's the next image of Zoe. She used to be brightened overall, and she turned away from the window at this point, So light in the shadows a little bit. Here she is. When we set up on the floor but still using natural light from the window behind us and just lightning overall really brings out all of her color and the shine in her eyes. This one's already brightened. This one's on the floor as well, so we're gonna bright in the overall and brighten the shadows. Let's do a little bit with the contrast and see what happens. Nice. Here's a cute one of her rolling around on the table, sort of Brighton that overall, I think that looks great. Just like that. Here we moved to that speed light, and you can see the overall images looks pretty good, and you can probably even just leave it at that. If you wanted to brighten a little bit in this area, then you can increase the light in the shadows. And that looks really nice. Let's see, when we were at the Cat Rescue, we had a couple of black kiddies here cypress, and this was in natural light. You can see that we had a reflector over here, and so we want to increase overall and especially with black cats, I always increase the shadow a little bit. You can see how much the texture comes out there. This one's really cute again. You can see that we have a natural light from the window and reflector, and she loved her little treat. So she's licking her lips there. We're gonna increase overall exposure. You got to be careful because you have this light areas. So then just go to the shadows. To bring out the detail in her for makes a big difference, doesn't it? Here we had moved on to the speed light, so overall it looks pretty good, but we need to lighten her up a little bit. So let's lighten those shadows and let's see for Dare in here, this was a natural light image, so it's a little bit darker. Overall, let's increase overall and some in the shadows and see how much of a difference that makes . Let's do a little bit of the contrast, just to see what it looks like if you want a softer image that would use contrast a little bit more so that's lightning your images, and you should be able to use these terms exposure, shadows and contrast in any of your software that you're using. The next thing I want to talk about is cropping now, if you weren't able to get all of the tight, middle, wide epic and creative images, this is one of the ways that you can get those. This is also where you can really get some creative license. So when I'm in my room again, I'm gonna go to develop. I'm gonna go to the crop feature. And in any program I've used, it's always said Crop I would crop and not resize Resize actually conduce some funky things to your image. So just go to crop. In this program and most programs I've seen again, you can choose what size. So let's say Ah, lot of times for the rescues. I have found that eight by 10 is the perfect size for their databases. It's also great size for printing and a lot of different things. If you think you're gonna crop this differently for different social media's later later give it a little extra room, but you can see how that would look cropped eight by 10 like that really can change the look of the image. Let's crop this one as a square, which would be the 1 to 1 and most programs will just say a square or give you a little icon. So I really like that This is where she's on the back of the couch. This piercing image of her, I think, would look perfect as a buy 10 again and just slide that down like that and say, Done and those look pretty good. They do look pretty good and let's see, Let's go down to Cyprus here and Cyprus. We're gonna crop her to an eight by 10 as well and give us a little bit of room. This would be a cute picture to write her name on another program that will show you in the next segment, this cute one with her sticking out her tongue. We're gonna crop that also eight by 10. But play around with this. So here she has cropped eight by 10. What if we want to see what it looked like just on her face? Because it's such a cute expression, and that's how a book as a square, you really get to see her pretty eyes and her silly um, look with her tongue So cropping is really important to the final usage of your images to and let's see, I think it's also try this as a horizontal. So here's Daryn cropped horizontally. But what if you tried it vertically? Missile pop this way and then it highlights his paw right here. So keep all of those things in mind when you're cropping. The third thing I want to talk about this spot removal, and sometimes it might be a little bit of something in the corner of their eye, and it happens a lot like they're not gonna tolerate you actually wiping something out of there. I but later on you can do a little bit of editing. So for Cyprus here, let's get rid of these little treats. And in this program, it's called Clone or he'll and most programs it is. It might be called stamp as well. And really, all you have to do is paint over the part. You want to go away, and then the computer or your program will pick on spot. It wants to copy over it, and you move it around till it looks right to you. So I want this little spot to go over those pieces of food and then let's go back up and do that in light room. It's the 2nd 1 clone and he'll let's try Hell, let's see what it set does if we try hell, so it's gonna choose for us. Let's paint over this and we can make the paintbrush different sizes to again. This is 101 So we're not gonna get into everything these programs can dio. So it's very similar with hell. I still see a little bit of the food. I probably didn't paint as carefully as I could have, but there you go. You can see how that looks. And now the food is gone. Weaken touch set up just a little bit more by painting over it kind of again. And it's gonna grab from an area and we'll just pull over to where we want. And that looks pretty darn good. This would be ready to use in anything. Let's see if we wanted to get rid of her little mouse. Then let's go back over here again and we're gonna go to that cologne tool. I'm gonna make that brush size a little bit bigger. You can do that. So let's just pain over the little mouse. See where the computer wants to grab. Let's make it over here, cause that seems more logical to me. Uh huh. You can say, done in this programme, I can see disa teeny bit of her little nose still of the little mouse toy. So I'm gonna just pay over that again and grab from nearby. There we go, and her little mouse toy is gone, and then we can crop it in to whatever size we want. And again, that's ready for however we want to use it, whether on our blog's or for rescue image. Or this would look really cute printed sitting in your home as well. So lightning cropping and spot removal are the three things I dio most often with post production. Here are some of my favorite editing APS for mobile devices, your phones and your tablets. I like to start with an app called Snap Seed. This is a free app through Google and has a lot of the basic editing controls that you'll need next. If you really like filters like Instagram style filters on APP called a V, Ery has many, many cool effects in that app. A lot of people really like picks art, which is another free app. The great thing about Pixar. It has a clone stamp tool where you can remove those little pieces of an image you don't want, like the little pieces of food or catnip. Small things really nice to be able to have that in a mobile editing app, the last one is word swag. This is a very inexpensive app that you can quickly add words from a mobile device I use is quite a bit for instagram and social media posts. There's several different font choices and layouts and colors super fast and easy to use for desktop editing. I, of course, have adobes, photoshopped and light room bundle. There is a monthly fee, but it's fairly low. If you find that you are using a photo editing tool every day, it might be worth it for you to have this photography duo set. I use this pretty much every day if you want Ah, light version of photo shopped. There is Photoshopped elements. That's a one time fee that you load onto your desktop and has many, many of the features of photo shop. I used photo shop elements for years, and you be pretty happy with it if you want a starting point for a desktop editing app. And lastly, is Camba really like Can Va? It's a free design program. They have lots of different sizes and styles, all kinds of things we're gonna talk about canvas C A n b a dot com more in depth. So when we go to create a design, canvas already figured out the sizing for everything that we might need. We have square crops and you can see the pixels there. Ah, poster, Facebook cover or post a blawg graphic instagram Post Tumblr, Facebook All of these printed documents are here blogging marketing so you could make cards in here and adds, If you wanted to use your own custom dimensions, you could. But for this, let's just say we're making a Facebook post and I've loaded in those pictures we just edited from light Room. Let's use this one of Zoe all I did with Click on It. I could have clicked in drag as well, and I'm gonna make a so teeny bit smaller so you can see. So here's the overall dimensions and I can move the image around. I'm gonna have it fill most of the screen. And then there's all these options here you can add text. You can say Zoe and then move that box around. It's so, so, so, so useful. They have different elements, like shapes, different shapes you can add. And this is the free version, so there isn't a cost to camba dot com. At this point, there is illustrations just it goes on and on and on and on and on. With different illustrations. You can choose different layouts, so let's actually go back to elements because you have grids here as well. So in the grids, if I wanted to add three pictures of Zoe, actually, let's delete that so we can get rid of what's back here. Kind of start over little trash can there. If we wanted to have three pictures of Zoe, we could. It made a grid. And you all you have to dio is dragon. Drop your pictures of Zoe in there. There we go and you can see she's too far down. So I double clicked on there and I'm just gonna drag it up and click the check work. You can change the the background color. So behind all this, where the White Strip is could be a different color. Let's pick something really bright. There we go, yellow red. However you want to do that again, you could add text. They have some text options here. If we wanted to use this and put her name in the middle, we could do that. There's many, many, many uses for this program, from making collages to adding text to adding effects. We can even do filters on here like that to each individual picture if we wanted to. If maybe that's something you wanted to play with in here that you didn't do previously say in snaps, he'd or, um picks art. Let's just do all of them the same. I think I did all of from the same. Let's see, that looks pretty close. So now you've got this kind of a cool look. You can change the the text, make it maybe a little bit bigger. Here we go. If we wanted to make it a little bit transparent, we can see some of the stuff through some of the pictures through the icon. If we decide you know what I don't want that anymore. Let's come over here and just do regular text. You can do that as well. We'll type in here. Zoe. Let's give it a different fund. Something really swishy. Maybe make it really big. Well, let's make it even bigger. You could type in a size here, too. You can choose a different color. It may be. It's the same color is your background. Maybe that color is what you wanted to use right there. There you go. We have this nice little collage that we made in just a couple of minutes, and then when you say you want to download it, it gives you different file types. J pegs PNG, which is just a picture file and different types of pdf. If you want a printed or just display it maybe on a screen somewhere, and then he'd say Download. And it's downloading your design there so much that can. That can do. And there's not enough time in this course, but I wanted to give you a brief look at what you can do with canvas. C a n v a dot com This is a bigger, bigger creation, so it's taken a little bit All right, so there it is, and it's downloaded on to my computer desktop. Pretty cool, huh? Thank you so much for learning everything and watching this cat photography 101 I hope this has been amazing resource for you and that you're able to improve your photographs for whatever you're using them for. For bloggers, perhaps it'll increase the traffic on your website or help clarify your message for fosters and rescues. Hopefully, this will help get those kiddies adapted even quicker. And for your personal cats, maybe you'll find something that you are proud display in your home or put in your scrap IQ on your coffee table. Most of all, though, I hope you had fun with your kitty during these photo sessions. But they have lots of treats, lots of fun time playing with you and that that's what they'll remember and you'll remember afterwards. If you have any questions about this course, feel free to email me or visit my Web page. I'm on all kinds of social media, and I would love to hear your feedback and anything that you have questions on. I'm here for you