I am an incurable photographer.  Even when not behind a camera, I see the world through a camera lens.  Ooh, the reflections there are really cool!  If I align myself just so, that would make for a really interesting perspective..  I love the colors there!

So put me in a situation where I wouldn’t typically think to take pictures.. like a mobile app.  I’ve become mildly obsessed with the widely popular game, Neko Atsume, meaning “Collect the cats.”  Originally a Japanese game, it has a very simple premise: put out some food and toys, then return at a later time to see what cats you’ve attracted to your garden.  They play or sit there looking cute, then they leave.  They give you gold or silver fish for their time, currency with which you can purchase more food or toys to attract even more cats.  Put out special items to see special cats, each with some Japanese historical or mythological significance.  It’s a (free) passive game, never requiring more than a few minutes at any time – perfect for the busy individual.

Then tell me this cute-splosion has a feature with which I can take pictures of the little smiling fur puffs, and I’m sold!

At first, I took simple snapshots of each kitty at their individual antics.  Then I found I was limited to only three pages of pictures (18 per cat).  I had to be more selective with what I took, favoring variety in images.  If there were other cats within the same frame, I’d creatively include them.

I then discovered the frame could be expanded, opening up a new range of options.  I could compose my snapshots with kitties off-center, expanded to include an entire bunch of kitties, or cropped to encompass an artistic bit of background.

Special cats don’t have as many positions to photograph, so I had to make better use of their surroundings to compose more interesting snapshots.

You could be surprised what you can do, even within the limitations of a simple game such as this.  The one thing I’ve learned: I’ll never stop being a photographer, even when I have no real reason to be.  Give me a camera – even a fake one – and I’ll do everything I can with it.  I love taking pictures of cats, and there is no bad shot of these little guys.  Kurimu-san, show me your cutest smile!

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