Taking good photographs for portraits

When working from photographs it is important that the photograph(s) provided do truly resemble the pet/animal character and colouring.  The portrait can only be as good as the photograph it has been based upon.  I have therefore provided some invaluable tips below to consider when taking/selecting your pet portrait photograph:

  1. Eyes - The animal's eyes should be clearly visible and not in shadow.  Ideally the photo should be taken at the subjects eye level.  Get down on the floor to their level and if you can ask someone to hold a toy or treat just by your shoulder at your level (not behind you), so that the animal is looking towards the camera but not directly at it.
  2. Lighting - this is very important because if the sun/light is too bright, your animals fur/hair may be discoloured or there may be too much shadow on the fur or face depending on the light source.  Make sure the light source is always behind regardless whether you are inside or outside.  When taking photographs inside try to take it near a window but have the window behind you.
  3. Pose - take a photograph of your animal in a pose that you associate with them and if requesting a head & shoulders pose ensure that the pose fills the view finder.
  4. Photograph Quality - ensure the quality is good, blurred or low pixel images can not be used.  I prefer photographs to be emailed so that I can 'zoom' in on the features, however if this is not possible photographs can be posted.
  5. Group Portraits - if you require more than one pet in the portrait, take photographs of the pets together AND individually in order that I can gauge the the sizes of the two pets together.  In cases where this is not possible estimations can be made.
  6. Finally - let's make sure we get it right so do feel free to call me to discuss.  You can share some pictures in advance in order for us to discuss and select the best photo to meet your requirements.         

animal & pet portraits  by julie p pastel portrait paintings of pets and animals

dog portraits, horse portraits, julie perkins pet portrait artist