SO You Want to Be in Pictures?
Cat Talk|June 2021
Have you ever caught yourself wandering through a pet store and noticing all the pictures of the cats, dogs, and other assorted furry and feathered critters, and wonder, “How did they get there? My Fluffy is cuter than that. How can I get a piece of that action?”
Trisha Seifried

Or, just imagine—you are sitting on your couch watching the Super Bowl or your favorite television show and a commercial comes on. You see your cat on the big screen—pretty cool, right? Suddenly, your cat becomes super famous just by saying yes to that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Guess what? It’s possible and your opportunity might be coming up sooner than you think! Hopefully, you will find the tips and tricks in this article a useful guide to help get you started. In the age of social media, it’s become a little easier for pet product brands to connect with the “influencer” cats that they fall in love with on Instagram. However, there’s a little more to getting modeling or acting jobs for your cat than just posting a snapshot on Instagram and hoping for the best. Just like in the human acting world, there are a lot more available actors than available parts, but there are a few things you can do to greatly enhance your cat’s chances of getting selected to be that next iconic cat featured on food packages or in commercials.

Get the Right Pictures

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If you’re trying to get your cat a modeling job, it’s worth everything. Good pictures are simply a must, both professional and candid. Videos are helpful, too. You want to present your cat in the best light possible. Your cat’s pictures are being viewed by producers and brand managers along with those of dozens of other cats. If your pictures are fuzzy or have poor composition, they won’t get a second look.

But Fluffy won’t sit still for a good photo, you say? Think about that. If Fluffy won’t sit still for a photo for you, it’s very unlikely s/ he will sit still for a photo in an unfamiliar place full of unfamiliar people with lots of new smells, noises, and really bright lights flashing in their face—and the professionals know that. If you’re not getting even a sniff, take a hard look at your pictures.

If Fluffy is a real ham for the cameras, though, here are some tips for getting and submitting quality photos of your cats that people just can’t take their eyes off of:

• Give the casting team the pictures they ask for, not just anything you happen to have at the moment on your phone. Generally, speaking they will want at minimum a head shot, a standing shot of both sides, and a sitting shot. The eyes should be open and looking straight at the camera. Your cat should appear relaxed and happy in the photo—cats, in particular, can betray their emotions in their body language. Avoid pictures where the cat is hunched in a defensive position, tucked, or with their ears turned sideways or laid back. While that angry snarl might look cute on a Facebook post or meme, it won’t get you many jobs.

• For professional or studio pictures, pick neutral backgrounds where possible. While that black cat on a black background with the blazing copper eyes might be a really cool photo, it should not be the only picture you submit. The selection team needs to see your cat—ALL of your cat.

• Make sure that any candid photos you submit are well-composed. Avoid having too many other people or animals in the pictures that distract from your cat. Your cat should be featured prominently in the photo, not so far in the background they can barely be seen. It’s a great idea to use a freshly ironed sheet as a makeshift backdrop for your cat. Avoid fuzzy or dimly lit photos, no matter how cute you think your cat looks in them.

• Avoid standing above your cat and snapping its picture. Your camera should be at the same level as your cat. Yes, get down on the floor with them if you have to, or put them on a table or chair.

• Good photography of any cat usually involves two people—one with toys or food posing the cat and getting them to look at the camera and the other snapping the picture. If you can make your cat think s/he’s the greatest thing in the world then your pictures will show it, and you will be successful at showcasing your cat in the best way possible.

• Good lighting is essential. If the lighting is not adequate, your picture will often be fuzzy no matter how good your camera might be.

• Groom your cat. While this is probably a no-brainer to most CatTalk readers, there are a surprising number of people who submit pictures of cats that look like they just came off the street.

Got Some Great Pictures, Now What?

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