Purrsonality-Filled Cat Portraits Show the Surprisingly Silly Side of Felines

Cat Photography by Elke Vogelsang

Cats and dogs generally have very different temperaments. Whereas canines are known to be silly or crack a smile at any moment, felines are associated with being aloof and unwilling to take commands. (There’s the phrase “…like herding cats” for a reason.) Photographer Elke Vogelsang, known for her pictures of gregarious pups, highlights this difference in her portraits of cats.

In Vogelsang's images, the felines—while fabulous—don’t always offer the same affectionate expressions as their doggie counterparts. Some snarl at the camera while others sit stone-faced and wonder when the photo session will end. But despite any chilly receptions towards the camera, Vogelsang is a master at coaxing a great photo from any creature—no matter how surly. Her cat portraits maintain the warmth that we’ve come to love about her work.

Luckily, Vogelsang is quick to offer tips on how to snap fantastic feline photos. “Let’s face it, cats can be so much harder to photograph than dogs,” Vogelsang tells My Modern Met. “If they can’t be bothered, they won't do it for our sake.”

Young cats are more playful than their elders, which increases the chances of a successful portrait. But don’t count out older kitties. “With a mix of patience, entertainment, and fun, older cats can be ‘persuaded' to pose for your camera,” Vogelsang explains. “In general, sessions with cats are shorter than sessions with dogs. They are the ones to determine the schedule.”

Above all, Vogelsang stresses being a patient observer. “At the beginning of the session, the cat might still find me interesting and look at me inquiringly. I try to capture [these] situations,” she explains. Whether it’s with toys, food, or even just watching her set up her equipment, there are fewer valuable opportunities to photograph cats. Vogelsang has a good sense of when’s the right time to hit the shutter and make these felines shine. With a little work, you can too.

Photographer Elke Vogelsang captures purrsonality-filled portraits of cats.

Cat Photography by Elke VogelsangCat Photography by Elke Vogelsang

Cats are known for being aloof and at times, surly.

Cat Photography by Elke VogelsangCat Photography by Elke Vogelsang

And while there are some of those cats in Vogelsang's portraits, she brings warmth to the images that we've come to know with her photos.

Cat Photography by Elke VogelsangCat Photography by Elke VogelsangCat Photography by Elke Vogelsang

Let’s face it, cats can be so much harder to photograph than dogs,” Vogelsang tells My Modern Met.

Cat Photography by Elke VogelsangCat Photography by Elke Vogelsang

“If they can’t be bothered, they won't do it for our sake.”

Cat Photography by Elke VogelsangElke Vogelsang: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Elke Vogelsang.

Related Articles:

12 Photographers Who Have Elevated Pet Photography Into an Art Form

Interview: Expressive Human-Like Portraits of Dogs by Elke Vogelsang

Photographer Takes Intimate Portraits of Her Playful Dogs

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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