Good Reference Photos
As a realistic pet portrait artist, I rely heavily on detailed reference photos to accurately paint your pet. Candid photos that highlight your pet's personality (silly is good!) and show fine details, allow me to render a more realistic painting. Below are some tips for taking and choosing a reference photo for your pet.
During your photoshoot Be Patient, sometimes it takes 40 or more photos to capture the perfect one! You may need to try a different location, lighting, angle, or even a different day! Your patients in following these guidelines below will allow you to take that perfect flattering reference photo that shows your pet's unique character, resulting in a much better painting of your pet!
Photos should be taken at eye level from about 4 feet away. Make sure your pet is either looking at you or just past your shoulder. Ideally you want to be able to see both eyes. Also make sure your pet fills the frame and isn’t cut off or too far away. Bust shots (head and chest) make excellent pet portraits.
Detail in the Nose, Fur and Eyes. I love to see textures on the nose, Reflections on the nose, and in the eyes. Fur makes up most of their body its best if I can see even the slightest variance of fur color and direction.
I CAN NOT PAINT WHAT I CAN NOT SEE!
My goal is to paint the tiniest of details, to bring your portrait to life and I can only do that with a high-quality high-resolution photo!
You do not need to have a DSLR camera to take a good photograph of your pet! Most iPhones and Androids can take fantastic high resolution photos, if taken in the right lighting. Of course, if you do have access to a DSLR or a friend who has one, use it!
HAVE FUN AND TAKE YOUR TIME!
Turn off the flash! A flash will make a photo look flat and oftentimes will give the subject red-eye. Instead, use natural light. Take your photos outside on a cloudy day or at sunrise/sunset. Indoor pets can be photographed in a well-lit room by a window. This works well for cats that like to bird-watch out a window.
Bad Reference Photos
Common Photo Problems
The following photos include common issues with reference photos, and unfortunately, I would not be able to use any problematic reference photos to paint your pet.
Laying down. too far away
Objects in the way, eyes closed
Do they always look this angry?
Really!! 😂 Blurry/Details Lost
HAHA iI could make this work!
Adorable I can make this work
Dark & Blurry & Bad angle
Miss part of the face! only 1 eye.
CUTE but ears? I can make it work