National Geographic is often known for photographing the large and the untamed—the #BigCats of the world. But I knew when I asked the Your Shot community to treat house cats with that same photographic prowess, to make feline photos that were more than internet memes, that I wouldn’t be disappointed.
We received almost 4,000 cat photos. Many of them were beautiful, lots of them were funny, and let’s be honest, all of them were cute. When selecting which images to feature, however, I wanted to make sure that there was more than just a cute cat in each photo. I wanted the images to be well-composed, intriguing, and original. Things that were too cutesy or typical, I tended to pass over.
Shameem Sha’s bird’s eye view of a cat who refuses to abandon its dilapidated home speaks to the lovable stubborness of cats. I also loved the colors and the fact that despite everything going on in the frame the main focus of the image is obvious.
Pauline Maisonneuve’s abstraction of her cat playing behind a curtain was a shoe-in. Even though no part of the cat is actually visible, I instantly knew what was going on. It’s a beautiful wisp of an image, giving us just enough to know what we need to know.
Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor’s grumpyesque cat charmed me with its cattitude. It’s casting a regal “do not disturb” glare at the bejewelled hand that’s petting it, which is so classically cat.
—Becky Harlan, Assistant Photo Editor