Choosing the best photographs for my pet portrait.

I draw all my pet portraits from photos. So when you place an order, the question you’re most likely to ask is ‘What type of photo do you need?’.

Of course, a photo keeps your four-legged friend still for as long as required! It means I can create fine lines and build layers of colour, taking all the time needed to get every detail just right.

To capture your pet perfectly, it really helps if you can send me the best possible photo. Here’s what you need to look out for to make sure you’re sending me the right image:

Make sure you can see the eyes

You might have noticed from my pet portrait progress videos that I start every piece by drawing the eyes. This is the place your pet’s personality lies, capturing what makes them unique. When you’re choosing your photo, make sure your pet isn’t looking away from the camera, and at least one of their eyes is visible and open wide.

It isn’t always easy. My cat blinks and shuts his eyes every time I go near him with the camera! But it’s worth persevering, as with a clear image of bright, open eyes your pet portrait will show your pet as they really are.

perfect clear, close up photograph for pet portrait of Ginger Tom Cat

 Find a light and clear image

You may own a beautiful black cat, and see its fur in a single, strong colour. Yet look closer, and you’ll notice there are many layers of different colours that make up its coat, from jet black to blues, greys and even oranges.

There are so many personal colours that make up your pet portrait. Choose a well-lit photo that’s not too dark, where the camera’s focus is on your pet and not the background details. Watch out for shadows, which might fall in the wrong place and make your image unclear. Then, I can look carefully and pick up every single colour.

Here are a few examples of badly lit photos

Badly lit kitten photoPoorly lit picture of horse playing polo

And here are ones that are well lit and much easier for me to draw from

Cocker spaniel on the beach

Beautiful image of a bay horse

Put your pet in focus

Your pet features in many of your life’s most important memories. You might have captured them in family photos, racing down the beach, or snuggled up with you on the sofa.

These are beautiful moments. But make sure they’re not taking the focus away from your pet. Of course, I can draw a pet portrait from an image taken in any setting. Just make sure there’s nothing obscuring your pet or blocking them from view so they’re the centre of the shot.

Show the details you love

You know your pet better than anyone. Perhaps you love the way the tufts fall on your horse’s mane. Maybe it’s the little white stripe down your dog’s nose. Or maybe you laugh at the way your cat lifts its paw when it wants your attention!

Make sure the image you send me shows the details that matter to you. That way, your pet portrait will capture their true likeness and the details you know make them special and unique, from the colours on their coat to the wag of their tail.

Of course, if your pet has passed away, the perfect photo depends on the memories you’ve made. Feel free to send me a couple of options, and we can have a chat so you can tell me more about the character your pet had and the details you remember. Together, we can work out which image is the right one to draw the pet portrait that preserves your memories.

To find more info about choosing the right photograph, click here examples of good and bad photos

You can place an order here place your pet portrait order or get in touch for more information about my drawings. I’m happy to advise you on which photo is best to use to draw the pet portrait that captures your pet perfectly.