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:
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.

Mobile phones are not suitable as the photos will be too small and not sharp enough. 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!