Photographing your Pet Guidelines
To create a commissioned pet portrait of your pet, I require several good quality photographs with as much detail as possible. It is important that your photographs are clear. The better the photos the better the finished painting will be. I can only work from the reference photos supplied. Important areas which must be clear, sharp in clarity, correct colour tones are the eyes, nose, ears and mouth area. Importantly the photos need to be taken at eye level to avoid as if you are looking down or up at your pets head.
I have put together below a few hints and tips on photographing your pet together with examples of the quality and composition requirements of the photographs. The aim is to achieve the best possible pose or position of your pet as this needs to be reproduced in the painting itself. Eye level positioning is good.
● If possible photograph your pet outdoors, the natural light will show the colours of your pet's coat at its best. Photographing in direct sunlight is not a good idea as the animal will often squint and not look relaxed. Attempt to capture your pet with an alert look or a image that is an excellent representation of your pet at it's best.
● Where possible photograph with the light behind you. Photograph your
pet eye level. Photographing on a good light overcast day can give a lovely even light.
● Fill the viewfinder with just head and shoulders (unless requesting full body portrait). Allow your pet to be relaxed and natural. Avoid stressing the pet with too many demands. Getting your dog to sit with an alert look can be achieved using a dog biscuit treat. Obviously every animal is different and you will know what is best for your pet.
For smaller or medium sizes dogs, cats, rabbits etc, from experience, I have often found it easier to photograph them outside, perhaps on a table thus allowing you easier eye level positioning to take your photographs. Larger animals can be photographed on a higher elevation to aid better eye level photographs.
If your pet dog, cat has a collar, then please decide if you wish to have the collar viable in the final pastel portrait. If not, please remove the collar accordingly when taking the photographs.
● Avoid using the flash on your camera as this can alter the true colours of your pet's coat. Do not use camera phones or cheaper compact cameras as these often distort the images. Use a good digital SLR camera. Using a 55 to 70mm focal length lens is an advantage as you then do not need to be too close to the animal. A longer telephoto lens is also useful. Better quality photos with a camera of at least 5 Mega Pixels or more is best.
● Take as many photographs as you can. You can then choose the best photos from these. The better the photograph the better the painting. You can then choose the best shots and use these. When taking photographs for customers I often take up to 20- 30 shots to provide you the best opportunity of capturing that best image! If I do not feel that a photo submitted is good enough to enable a portrait to be completed, I will not go ahead with the painting.
● You can either Email or burn to CD Rom disc and post to me. I can accept quality prints between 6x4 to 7x5 only please.
● When sending print photographs or CD Rom discs by post I
recommend using Royal Mail Special Delivery Service.
All print photographs and CD Rom discs will be returned with the finished portrait.
Please see below for some photographs demonstrating good and poor examples of pet poses.