Supporting Photographers Supporting Animal Adoption

Creating more adoptions with better adoption photos

Kittens Everywhere !

Sometimes animal shelters are overrun by kittens! This can offer a bit of a challenge even for the experienced shelter photographer. It can be a fun experience if we learn to 'go with the kitten's flow ' :)

As shelter photographers, we might find ourselves in the middle of kittens running around in all directions. If there is a possibility, arrange with the manager/staff at the shelter to schedule a time outside the shelter hours to take the photos. This will ease up the stress of the shelter staff and animals.

If you find yourself having to take the photos within the shelter working environment, you will have to constantly flow, adjust and respect the space of the working staff. Be prepared to change your thoughts on 'how you would like a photo to be' to the inspected. You will be amazed the outcome of the images that you will capture.

The unplanned shot, might be the most expressive and conveying one. Remember that the more relaxed you feel, the more relaxed the kittens will feel. It's all about enjoying the process so that the images will reflect a playful, relaxed environment.

General Tips on how to Maximise the experience of taking photos of shelter cats

When to take the photos:

New  arrivals at the shelter, mostly cats, might take a couple of days to warm up and adjust to the shelter environment and staff. This will vary from one cat to the other. To get the best out of their true personalities,

Allow newcomers some time of adjustment to the shelter before scheduling a photo time. The goal is to visually capture an image/or sequence of images that represent their truest personalities and unique expressions. Remember that a photo speaks a thousand words.


Take time to bond with the animal, before taking out your camera and start shooting. Always talk to staff to gather information about their behaviour/past living situation/what they like, and what they don’t. The more you learn about the pet you will photograph, the better to help you create a comfortable environment for the pet and you.


Some cats like their being kennels more that walking around and mingling with their shelter buddies. Respect their chosen place of being at all times. Trying to place a cat in a different location to take the photo, might get them tense and create unnecessary stress. Let them show you in what location they feel more comfortable and at ease.

Action Shots:

Keep observing the pets movements at all times, they are the key elements to get an action shot.


this is so exclusively of cats. the cat will bring you closer to their own space as you gain its trust. This will assist you in finding point and shoot position /distance between you and them, that will be the most comfortable for both. You will be amazed at the results!

Flash: Try to avoid the use of flash. The direct flash will definitely startle them and their eyes will not have the natural relaxed expression