Suki the Siamese Cat – Working with Color Opposites (Photography Tips and Tricks)
Suki is a chocolate tabby point Siamese cat that I found as a kitten in downtown LA back in 2012. Her most striking feature is her blue eyes. Red is the color opposite of sky blue, so I placed Suki in a red chair for this photo. I added the red collar to accent the bold red background of the chair. I used a material that would reflect light nicely and placed the chair near the window in my home. A thin curtain over the window gave a nice diffused even light to the shot. The glow of the chair gives a slight warmth to her chocolate coat yet keeps her whites moderately white.
I made sure, as always, that her eyes were lit with nice highlights as this is the main subject that I wished to stand out in this animal portrait. When I found Suki, she was the victim of a facial degloving that has left her permanently disfigured. I made sure to have her tilt her head down to minimize her disfigurement. Always get your subject’s best side in a portrait! You can get your pet to look in the direction you wish by dangling a finger or seagull feather in that direction to draw their attention. But be careful as too much waving will make your pet move to play with the new and interesting “toy.”
I shot this on my iPod Touch 5 so as not to intimidate my subject with a large lense. Lastly, I chose the square format option on the phone camera as I think it was appropriate for the shot. Here are some other photos I did with Suki in which I experimented with different color schemes. I hope this was useful in your next cat fancier photo shoot. You can view additional photos and photo essays of my full menagerie of pets and Los Angeles Zoo animals on our Harley the Cat Facebook page HERE.
– Des Manttari, Editor-in-Chief, Phoenix Genesis
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