Virtual Cat Show Northwest
 
 

CLOSING DATE
All entries, photos, and entry payments must be received by
10 PM PST on
May 15, 2021
 
 
PHOTOS

For each entry, you'll need to upload 1-3 good photos. (One photo for the Fun classes, and 1-3 photos for the Standard classes.)

You'll do this via the entry form; after you provide your entry details, the form will ask you to upload 1-3 photos. You'll have the opportunity to confirm/change your photos before submitting them, but it's a good idea to have your entry photos all picked out before you start the entry process.
 

Photo Requirements

Your photos must meet certain requirements, which may differ depending on the competition class.

(Note: All photos will be subject to review; Virtual Cat Show NW has absolute discretion to accept or reject any photo.)

PHOTO REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL CLASSES:

  • Photo must be a JPG, PNG or GIF file.
  • Photo should be at least 300px wide/tall, and preferably larger. (A larger image makes it easier for the judges.)
  • Please, no files larger than 5 MB.
  • Photo should be in focus with a clutter-free background.
  • No humans should be visible/identifiable in the photo.
  • No cattery logo or other identifying marks should be visible (except for professional photographers' watermarks/signatures/copyright marks, which are fine.)
  • A professional photograph is fine, if you credit the photographer on the upload form. (Please leave any professional photographers' watermarks/signatures/copyright marks intact.)
  • Please do not re-use a photo that you've already used for another entry in this show. (It's fine to enter the same cat in more than one class if it qualifies, but please use different photos for each class/entry.)

Photos for standard CLASS entries:

  • You can provide up to 3 photos (ideally, a front-facing head shot, full-body shot, and a profile shot).
  • In the photos, the cat's breed, age, and gender (neutered or not) must qualify for the standard class you are entering.
  • The cat should be the same age in all 3 photos, if possible.
  • The cat should be alone in the photos.
  • Photos may be cropped or straightened. However, the cat's appearance/conformation must not have been altered in any significant way; doing so may cause your photo/entry to be disqualified. It's okay to crop the photo, or edit out a speck of dirt. It is not okay to adjust the cat's profile, eye color, etc. (If it's a professional photo, please do not remove the photographer's marks.)

Photos for FUN CLASS entries:

  • You can provide 1 photo per Fun Class entry.
  • In the photo, the cat's age and gender (neutered or not) must qualify for the fun class you are entering. (For this show, the only Fun Class age/gender restriction is that Tiny Tot entries must be younger than 4 months.)
  • Photos may be cropped or straightened. Also, for most Fun Classes, adding a photo caption is okay. (If it's a professional photo, please don't remove the photographer's marks.)

photo tips

Here are a few helpful tips for finding, taking and choosing photos.

ABOUT THOSE THREE "STANDARD CLASS" PHOTOS

For the Standard class, we ask that you provide three photos (if possible): a head shot, a body shot, and a profile shot. Here are some examples (all photos by Mike Branstetter):

Example of a head shot. Photo by Mike Branstetter. Example of a body shot. Photo by Mike Branstetter. Example of a profile shot. Photo by Mike Branstetter.
HEAD SHOT: Front facing, showing the cat's expression BODY SHOT: side view of the body, ideally showing body length, markings, etc. PROFILE SHOT: a side view of the face, ideally showing the nose and chin profile clearly.

Tip: DIG OUT THOSE "reject photos"

In the Standard Classes, the judges will be judging based on conformation (and TICA breed standards). To help the judges get a clear idea of your entire cat (face, body, profile), you should ideally provide three good photos of your cat: a front-facing head shot, a side/full-body shot, and a profile shot. (Of course, it's also important that the photos be in focus and well lit.)

So you're probably worried about finding those three good photos, right? You have that one great shot of Fluffy that you put in the yearbook, but that's it... or is it?

Most of us (well, those who've had professional photos taken of our cat) probably have a bunch of "reject" shots sitting quietly in a drawer somewhere -- ones that were just okay, or maybe even downright bad shots.  But, those "rejects" just might include the photos you need for the Virtual Cat Show: maybe a side/full-body shot in which Fluffy was looking away, or a decent profile shot that just got ignored in favor of that gorgeous front-facing Yearbook shot. So... you might want to go dig around in that drawer! 

Tip: WHAT YOUR PHOTOS DON'T HAVE TO BE

Entry photos do NOT need to be:

  • Professional photos
  • From the same photo sitting (or the same photographer)
  • Great photographic art
Professional photos are not required or even necessary. Likewise, the three photos for a Standard Class entry don't need to be from the same photo sitting, or even all professional photos.

Your photos just need to be good photos (in focus, uncluttered, well lit, and showing the cat from the necessary angles). And, of course, for a Standard entry, they need to be of the same cat at roughly the same age as the other photos (if at all possible). But they don't need to be fancy, or a matched set. So you could use Fluffy's beautiful "yearbook" head shot, and a reasonable full-body shot from a different sitting... and you could take that missing profile shot yourself. (Or all three shots, if you want!)

Tips for taking photos yourself

  • Use a smartphone! Most of today's smartphones have great cameras built in -- and most are lot easier to use than many "dedicated" cameras.
  • Use good lighting. Make sure there's enough ambient light!
    • Turn off the flash -- it will give your cat "headlights," and will probably also wash out the photo.
    • Try turning on all the lights in the room; if that isn't enough, try bringing in additional lights. Taking photos during the day can also be helpful.
    • Avoid "backlighting" (a bright light behind your cat). You'll end up with just a silhouette, or at best, with a dim cat shape surrounded by light... artistic, but not what you need for a virtual cat show.
  • Make sure the background isn't cluttered. Some places that can work well include a stairway, a cat tree, the sofa, or even the middle of the floor.
  • Use a long mylar teaser wand toy to direct your cat's attention.
    • A very long teaser wand -- at least 3 feet long -- can be extremely useful to encourage your cat to look at you, look to the side, or even to stay on that nice,  uncluttered, well-lit cat tree. If your teaser toy isn't long enough, tape a regular teaser wand to a long (lightweight) stick, such as a dowel or the rod from an old fishing rod.
    • A wand with mylar or smooth plastic strands is a good choice. Mylar's great because it's shiny and easily catches the cat's attention, but if they grab at it, it just slips between their claws. We've found that fabric, tulle, fleece and stuffed toys are poor choices because the cat's claws snag easily in it, which can be a real pain when you're trying to direct their attention for a photo.
  • If possible, get someone to help you with your in-home photo shoot. Two people can much more easily move/grab/reposition/chase the cat, run the teaser toy, reposition the cat, and take photos at the same time.
  • If you have multiple cats who all want part of the action (that Mylar teaser toy can be very compelling!), try setting up your "photo studio" in a separate room with a door. Once you've got the lighting right and the background decluttered, evict everyone but the cat you're photographing (and your helper!), and close the door.