Bright Lights, Small Kitty
Continuing on with my adventures in studio photography, I thought I would try to take pictures of my cat Shayla, next. She's nearby, sweet, normally unfazed by things, and incredibly cute (sometimes). And I love taking pictures of pets.
At the same time, I wanted to test out some backdrops and holiday props to see how they appear on camera in preparation for my first set of holiday mini-sessions tomorrow! So I went about setting up the backdrop and two bright lights - a key light and a fill light in our small living room. I experimented with a few backdrop variations using a stuffed animal as the subject, wanting everything to be all set up the way I wanted before bringing over le chat.
Once I was happy with the setup, I looked around for my cat. She wasn't in her usual places, and then I discovered her hiding behind the television set. The strange setup and bright lights that suddenly appeared must've scared her. The funny thing is that I hadn't anticipated the lights themselves being all that scary. I picked her up and put her onto the studio set and she immediately bolted. I enlisted my fiance's help and we did this a couple of times. But she's also very food motivated, so we took out a bag of treats and began generously giving them out to her as she was on the set. After awhile, she seemed to calm down and only cared about the treats, during which time I was able to get a few good shots! We also held treats in the air to get her to look in the direction I wanted her to. The key here was lots of shots and quick shots.
One interesting side effect I noticed of using the continuous lights is that her pupils were contracted all the way because of how bright they were. I'm thinking about trying again next time with the lights turned lower and my ISO set higher (these were all shot at 100 this time).