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Choosing a Photo

Choosing the photo is an important part of this process. What I do is replicate that photo with the high-quality detail and realism … so the better the photo, the better the end results! ​I’d be happy to review photos you are considering and provide you my feedback to help you make your choice. If your pet is no longer with us, I understand you may have limited options and I will do my best to accommodate.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this photo reflect the true color of my pet’s eyes/fur/feathers/skin?

  • Does this photo show great detail?

  • Is all the animal (or all that you want in the portrait) in the frame?

  • Does the angle work without a background?

  • If you want a head portrait, the neck and at least some shoulder/ upper body should also be visible and unobstructed. 

  • Is there anything in the photo you don’t want – a collar, tags, a leash, a lead, an abrasion, etc? (Collars usually add some interest and often enhance because they are a part of your pets normal appearance.)


For copyright purposes, it is important that any photos you send for the portrait are your own or have the owner’s permission to be used.

Image by Charles Deluvio
Image by Grant Durr
Image by Edgar

Taking a Photo

If you are going to take your own photos, here are some great tips ...

  • Take A LOT of pictures. We can go through them together to pick the best choice.

  • Correct lighting is important. Ideally, take your photos outside – but NOT in direct sunlight. A cloudy day or in light shade works well. If you must take it indoors, just be sure the space is well lit.

  • Do NOT use a flash (it causes unnatural lighting and reflections).

  • Take your photos at the animal’s eye level – you will achieve less distortion.

  • If a helper is holding the animal, be sure hands are positioned out of the  desired portrait frame.

  • Achieve better expression by interesting your pet in something. Have a friend help by standing behind you are just off to one side with a favorite toy or treat. A funny noise or whistle can perk ears.

  • Detail is important – use as much of the photo frame as possible without cutting any necessary animal parts out.

  •  Make small angle adjustments with the camera, in-between shots, when taking photos of the same pose. A slight change of the angle can take a pose from fair to great!

  • Try taking a video and then look for a frame with a great moment.

  • If you want more than one animal in your final artwork, it’s great if you can get them pictured together. However, if that does not work, no worries, I can work from separate photos.

  • Please send your photos to me in .jpg (JEPG) format (original size). Contact me and I will send you drop box information.

Image by Luisa Peter
Image by Alex Meier
Image by NeONBRAND
Image by David Clode
Image by Marliese Streefland
Image by Callum Wale
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