If there’s one thing I could look at all day long, it’s photos of cats. And that’s just because I mean, honestly, have you ever seen a cat take a bad photo? When it comes to cats, they’re oh-so-irresistible and a joy to photograph. The photographs we take of our feline friends look good, but when you put a camera in the hands of a professional, they can make cats look out-of-this-world fabulous.
For a German-based photographer named Beatrice, she’s especially talented when it comes to photographing cats. I came across her work online and reached out hoping to feature her on the site, and thankfully she agreed. So, learn all about her here while you enjoy her purrfectly mesmerizing photos of our favorite subjects.
How long have you been photographing cats?
I got my first DSLR camera way back in December of 2010 and solely used it to photograph my own cats for fun. So the first month was just me shooting whatever my cats did. A bit later I became really interested in the technical basics of photography and began to take all my photos manually. To practice, I started to visit friends and other people with cats taking my camera wherever I went. I was quite passionate about this for some years but due to private stuff, I lost my drive back in 2017 barely taking any photos and all for some years.
Then in 2020 I got a new and better camera, started with Instagram, and met some amazing photographers there, mainly @gnocchilli_the_cats. Seeing all their beautiful pictures inspired me to try photography more seriously again and unlike before I took my time to not only take photos but learn the basics of photo editing which improved the end result tremendously. I’ve done this for almost a year now, doing the first “shootings” with my cats back in January.
What’s the inspiration behind the name “Thapojere”?
It’s a combination of the names of the cats from my original squad. “Tha” from Thalia, “po” from Apollo, “”j” from Jovan and “ere” from Guinevere (Ninnis full name).
What’s your favorite thing (if you had to choose) about photographing cats?
I love to capture the essence of cats focusing on portraits, close-ups and macro shots while always trying to make them aesthetically pleasing with a touch for the dramatic. My main focus is and will always be cat eyes. I’m just very fascinated by their color and shape, the texture, how the light gets caught and is reflected by the iris.With one glance they seem to tell whole stories. I will never get tired of photographing eyes.
Can you tell me about your own cats?
I got six cats at home and one very dear to my heart who sadly already crossed the rainbow bridge some years ago. Without my cats, I would have never found my passion for photography. They are everything. Dear friends, beloved family members, treasured muses and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. My oldest are brothers Apollo and Jovan, two house cats who joined us from animal welfare back in 2010. They were very active in their younger years, wreaking mischief and havoc wherever they went. Now they are getting on in years, cherishing quiet times with us more than playing. Guinevere, or Ninni as she is primarily called, is our “old” Maine Coon lady. She’ll turn 11 in January and always looks a bit grumpy in photos. But that’s just a facade. She is very sweet and loving and takes her job as a hairdresser for Pawpy very seriously, grooming his hair whenever she has time for it.
Between our senior trio and our young squad, as we call it, are some years. Next in age is five-year-old Maine Coon Samu, who is just a big-hearted, fluffy affectionate softie. Samu loves all the cats, demanding kisses and grooming time from everyone while engaging in friendly play with Calla and Lyri. Calla is our three-year-old calico Maine Coon and has true tortitude encompassing every bias one could have for three-colored female cats. She is sassy, she can be moody and she knows, she owns the whole world. Last but not least is little Lyri, our little fluff ball of pure sunshine. I never met a cat as happy and open-minded as her. She just wants to have fun. She loves to play, play, play and tells you quite vocally that it’s always time for it.
And I can not talk about my cats without mentioning my Thalia. Sometimes you meet a cat and you just know your souls are touched. Thalia was this one special cat for me. She was my shadow, my heart, my love. Being loved by this cat unconditionally was one of the greatest gifts I ever received. Sadly she wasn’t a very healthy cat and had to leave us way too soon. I miss her very much.
How do you meet the cats that you photograph?
Currently, I mostly take photos of my own cats but back in the day I met various cat owners through a big German cat board where you got to know each other and I started to visit a bunch of users with my camera for fun.
This year I only photographed a handful of other cats but I hope to expand on this in the future hoping to use Instagram as a way to connect to people who might be interested in getting their cats photos taken by me.
What’s some advice you can share for other cat owners that want to take better photographs of their cats?
The first thing about taking photos of cats is patience. You have to be on high alert and wait for the right moment to strike. Don’t shy away from taking a bunch of photos at once. Most pictures aren’t done with a single take.
Get to know what works best to get your cat’s attention focused on you without them getting overly active (unless you want action shots). Some cats can be motivated by toys, others need treats and some just don’t like to be photographed. And that’s okay too. Never force a cat to do something just to take a pretty picture.
Wait for good light. Especially with phone cameras, you need good lighting to get the shutter speed you need to “freeze” your cat’s movement. A cat is seldom sitting still. Avoid taking photos of your cat in bright sunlight as it often only burns the colors and contrast away.
Try to always be on eye level with the cat. This way it doesn’t mess with the viewer’s perspective and portrays your cat as it is. Don’t shoot from above or below unless it’s for picture composition reasons.
Don’t cut off parts of your cat in a portrait or full-body shot. If you want a whole-body picture, don’t cut off the tail, paws, or ears. In a portrait don’t cut off an ear if you can manage it.
My personal tip: Try to always have the focus on the eyes (except in photos where you purposely want the focus to be on another body part).
And last but not least: Just practice. The more photos you take, the better the feeling for cats and equipment becomes. Never forget to have fun.
I’d like to give a special “thank you” to Beatrice of Thapojere for allowing me to share her insightful thoughts and images with all of the Cattitude Daily readers. If you know another cat lover who would enjoy seeing her work, don’t forget to share this article with them. For more of her lovely images, check her out on Instagram here, and you can even visit her website, too.
All Images Courtesy of Thapojere on Instagram