Ideal Photo Reference for a Pet Portrait Commission

Whilst creating a custom pet portrait its important I have high quality reference photos to help me capture your pet’s likeness and personality. High quality photos help me see your pets unique physical features as well as their personality so I can capture them accurately. Sending multiple high quality photos is the most ideal for me to create the best possible portrait. Lets discuss what aspects make the ideal photo reference.

Natural Lighting

Lighting is one of the most critical aspect of a high quality reference photo. Adequate lighting allows me to be able to see your pet's colors, markings, and texture clearly, making it easier to create a realistic portrayal.

Natural light is often the best option, as it provides a more accurate representation of your pet's colors and is less likely to produce harsh shadows or color casts. One of the reasons why I ask for multiple reference photos is so I can be sure to accurately portray your pet’s features.

Composition and Pose

The angle at which you take the photos is also important. Taking photos at your pet's eye level helps me capture their proportions and features accurately. Taking multiple photos from different angles can also be very helpful for me to understand your pets markings.

The reference photo should show your pet's face clearly, including their eyes, ears nose, and mouth. This area is the most important for me to accurately portray so it’s vital the photo shows their face well. 

Some of my styles are head-shot portraits only however for styles that I do offer full-body portraits for I need a reference photo containing the whole pet in attractive pose. Paws missing from photos or awkward poses make me me unable to paint most portraits full body.

Character and Personality

Ensuring your photos capture your pet's personality and character helps me to capture those aspects in a portrait. This can be achieved in multiple ways.

  1. Send me your favourite photo. A photo with great meaning that’s important to you usually portrays your pet the best. 
  2. Send me a photo that portrays your pets personality. I think smiling photos really show how happy our relationship with our pet makes them. It’s hard not to smile when you see a smiling portrait. I love to capture all sorts of expressions and I think it’s an important part in capturing personality and character.
  3. Send me a photo from your pets favourite location. Places such as the beach, park or woodlands are perfect. It could even be from their favourite cafe or their most comfy spot in your home or garden.
  4. Send me a photo from a particularly good memory. It could be their birthday, a memorable holiday or a day they really supported you. 
  5. If your pet has a special accessory, such as a fancy collar, cute harness, bows or bandanas that they loved to wear send me a photo of them in their signature style!
  6. If they have a toy or treat which has significant meaning to them please send me a photo if you would like me to include it.

Clear and High Resolution 

Finally, high-resolution photos are crucial for creating a detailed and accurate pet portrait. The higher the resolution of the photos, the more detail that I can see, making it easier for me to capture your pet's unique features and markings.

When selecting photos to send me, choose ones that are sharp and in focus, and send the original files rather than screenshots, compressed or resized versions. A blurry or low-quality photo can make it difficult for me to accurately capture your pet's likeness.

To Summarise

In summary, taking high-quality reference photos is essential when commissioning a pet portrait. Good lighting, the right angle, capturing your pet's personality, and high resolution are all key factors to consider when taking reference photos for a pet portrait. By providing me with clear and detailed reference photos, you'll help me create a beautiful and accurate portrait of your beloved pet.