Photography Tips

The reference photo is the most significant part of my painting process.   Without a good photo I can’t paint all those wonderful details that make your pet special and distinctive.  Having said that…..I also know that many times a pet has passed on and all you have are those old photos in the family photo album.  Or perhaps you have the perfect pose in the perfect setting, but the photo is not perfect.  Don’t worry, send me the photos…..sometimes my photoshop application can work miracles.

1.  My first bit of advice for taking your own pet photos…..RELAX….Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a good photo of your sweet furbaby.  So take your time and plan on doing more then just one session.  If you are stressed….so will your pet be

2.  Try to take your photo in natural lighting.  If you must use a flash, be sure and direct it away from your pets eyes

3.  Position yourself on the same level as your pet.  Try to have the camera at their eye level.

4.  Be sure and capture the ‘pose’ you want portrayed in your portrait.  In other words, don’t send me a photo of a sitting pet and ask me to paint him/her standing.  Also if you want a portrait that looks as if the pet is looking at you, then make sure your pet is looking at the camera when you snap the photo.

5.  Focus, Focus, Focus is so very important.  If it looks blurry to you, it will to me also.  I need a crisp, close up and clear photo to work from if at all possible.

6.  Take lots and lots of photos… may be surprised by what you capture and what you end up liking.  Plus I like to have more then one photo…..send me the ‘pose’ you like plus a couple of others capturing different angles of your pet and if you can get a nice close up of the face…that would be helpful as well.

7.  Make sure you have captured all the details of your pet that you want to see in your portrait.

8.  Don’t worry about the background…..unless, of course; you have a specific background in mind.  Then yes, please send photos of the background.  Your pet doesn’t necessarily have to be in those photos….I can usually put the two photos together for a pleasing composition.

9.  Send me high resolution jpegs via email.

Lastly, the above are just guidelines.  Just do the best you can and above all you and your pet should have fun.  The minute it becomes anything else is the minute you need to sit the camera down and take a break.