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Tips & Tricks
for photographing your pet.


In painting your portrait of any size - 
I work very closely from ONE reference photo.  
A good photo is VERY important.  I can't paint what I can't see.  
The better the photograph, the better your final painting.


Here are some key factors that make the biggest difference.

Playing Together
Dogs Running
Dog Run
  • DISTANCE/ Movement  - Perhaps the biggest mistake clients make is to send me photos that were taken of their dog running across the yard or perhaps rolling on their back, jumping for a treat etc. While these "action"  photos show me personality - they are not something I can use for a portrait. Your portrait will be primarily of your pet's face and perhaps a small part of their body,  therefore - you want their BEST FACE -  the most flattering, well-lit, cutest shot of their beautiful face taken CLOSE UP or semi Close- up from 4 -10 feet MAXIMUM.  ALWAYS be asking yourself  "Is THIS face/pose, lighting, something I would want in Portrait form?" 

  • LIGHTING - if at all possible - take or send a photo that has been taken in natural light. NOT bright sunlight but natural light.  Avoid Flash photography.  If you have the "LIVE" feature on your phone - use it - it yields multiple frames from which to edit.

  • QUALITY - The best photos were taken with a good quality camera or phone which gets higher megapixels - which yields more details and a better photo = better painting.

  • FOCUS - one "trick" I learned recently is to AIM FOR THE NOSE. Something about focusing on that feature results in a photo that does the best job capturing personality.

  • PERSONALITY - Each pet is a unique and amazing animal.  And YOU know YOUR pet and his/her quirks better than anyone.  Try to capture those unique traits in your photos.


Thank you! 

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