Start by stepping in and quickly snapping a selfie by your cat out of nowhere.
Who knows, you might get lucky with a nice “greeting” like I did – great start to any cat selfie session.
Take advantage of the fact that cats are curious, and so they’ll probably put up with your weirdness for a good 5 seconds. Let that first 5 seconds pass, however, and you’ll end up with a…
..yup, completely disinterested cat.
So recognize that your first shot might be the only good shot you’ll get. 5 seconds of prime selfie-with-a-cat time, that’s all you really have to work with.
Of course, you can’t possibly give up being only one or two shots in, so it’s time to make your own luck. Next up is always the grab-your-cat-and-place-him-on-your-lap technique.
Yet again, the initial distraction may yield some decent results. Surprise is always the element working to your advantage in this case. Miss the short time slot and don’t nail the shot because your shutter was too slow? You’ll have on your hands a Great Escape with no chance of redeeming the situation. Kitty’s gonna go.
The only rational next step for any of us is of course the distract-with-snacks technique.
But as you can tell, you rarely ever get a good selfie this way because, let’s be honest, everyone can tell that in the picture your cat is staring at food.
So up the ante and circle back to the previously-working surprise techniques.
Unfortunately, ignoring the fact that the last 5 minutes just took place and going back to step #1 will not work, because kitty is no longer remotely amused by curiosity and you – at this point, you’re just annoying.
…Bored cat face anyone?
That doesn’t mean you can’t try good ol’ distraction techniques. The age old tapping on the camera trick often gives you at least one good picture.
But use this trick wisely, because once that sound has been identified as coming from crazy cat momma tappin’ on some weird black box, it’s not going to be interesting again. Not for days.
At this point, chances are you should give up. The surprise element has been completely taken out of everything.
But you’re a pet parent, and you took the time to make yourself look half decent, you took the camera out, the lighting’s been good… Let’e be honest, you’re not giving up quite yet.
But since the surprise has been completely taken out of everything, now the only hope of getting a shot or two you like lies in playing out some weird combination of bending your body at weird angles to get in the same frame as kitty, chasing your cat from one side of the window to the other, and then of course, back to the age old doling-out-cat-food idea that really didn’t give you all that many good pictures before anyway. But you’re desperate, right? So what’s the harm?
Of course, all those cat treats mean kitty’s paying much more attention to you, and happy cat means happy pet parent; oh and you might even get some begging –
– don’t know who’s happier in that picture, Avery for the chance at more food with some easy sucking up to mom, or me, because… well face rubs = me melting <3
Sometimes, one other technique besides “surprise” can work out quite well: traditional perseverance. But not often.
Typically, the scene plays out like this instead: Your cat circles away from you to get-that-annoying-human-away for the time being. You follow that cat and try for another shot. He runs away again. Rinse and repeat with tonnes of terrible pictures filling up your memory card since the cat isn’t looking at the camera in any of the images.
Of course, going back to bribes as you have time and time again will typically get you a dizzy cat circle experience: cat walks back and forth along the window, grabbing the snack, running away from mum, nibbling on a snack again, running away, back again for a snack… – the resulting pictures you take all the while looking something like this at best –
Not the worst, and I’ll definitely take the trouble on the odd chance I get one decent picture.
But alas, even the perseverance play only works for so long because, jeez, humans sure do get boring. In the end, you’ll give up before your cat, and you’ll know when it’s the end because you’ll get to a point where there will literally be not another picture of your precious kitty facing the camera.
At this point, if you continue, you’ll end up with a million and one side profile pics from kitty refusing to look anywhere besides the window.
You can continue to try to bribe kitty, but at this place in the game, I firmly advise you to tap out and try again next week, when the surprise element will hopefully work again.
Flip through all your failed photos to find the few that actually turned out okay. (I had a good day, and only had to take around 50 to end up with the ones I’ve shown you…).
Note that if you get a shot where your cat is looking straight into the camera at the same time you happen to look a little cute and not like a miserable disaster of a mess, you have to make a sacrifice to the cat god who has graciously bestowed a nice picture. It’s owed or you’ll never get a nice shot again. A new cardboard box will do.
Post any nice pictures to an internet already filled with cat pictures. Mission success.
Yes, it’s a process.