Pet Photography Tips When Commissioning a Portrait


dog reference photo

If you wish to commission a portrait of your pet, a good reference photo is the main ingredient. I don’t know your pet personally so this means:
I CAN ONLY DRAW WHAT I SEE.
If your pet is no longer with you, I will do my best to work from the photos you’ve got. If you are able to take more photos however, here’s a few tips you might wish to keep in mind when trying to get the perfect shot.

Use a good digital camera and do not reduce the size of the photos when you download them onto your computer. The larger the resolution, the more detail I will be able to see.

If possible, take the photos outside on a nice (but not too sunny) day. You might want to ask someone to help you, maybe hold your pet or hold up a favourite toy or treat. Rustling bags sometimes works well with horses – we want your pet to look interested. The background does not matter as I won’t be drawing it (unless you would like me to).

horse reference photo

Ideally, I need clear, close-up shots of your pet, such as the one of the pony above. Get as close as you can – I can’t turn a black blob in the distance into a detailed, realistic pet portrait. Also, try and get down to your pet’s level – if your pet is looking up at you, features will probably get distorted (giant nose etc.).

I want to draw/paint your pet the way you like him or her best so a photo showing your favourite pose is ideal. I want to capture your pet’s looks, special markings and personality and essence. So make sure I can see your pet’s eyes clearly and all the detail that makes your pet – well, your pet!