5 tips for a successful pet portrait

I often get asked by my customers, “how can I take a photo that is clear enough for you to create my pet’s portrait from?”

To help me to create the perfect pet portrait for you, I will need one or more photographs to reference. Photos are key to a pet portrait, the better quality the photo, the better your portrait will be as we will be able to see everything in more detail. So how do you get that good quality photo? You don’t need to be a professional photographer but the better the photograph I have to work from, the better the end result will be.
Here are 5 simple tips that I hope you will find useful when taking the photographs.

  1. Use natural light – if possible take the photo of your pet outside especially if you’re using a smartphone or mobile device. Being outside or close to a window if you’re inside will highlight the colours of your pet’s fur.
  2. Watch your position – get in a good position and get close to your subject. Crouch or lie down when taking photos or raise your pet up onto a table. Try to avoid taking photos while looking down at your pet. Remember when looking through the viewfinder, ensure that you can see your pet’s head and chest.
  3. To flash or not to flash? – as mentioned above using natural light is definitely the preferred option. However, if you do need to use a flash just be aware that the flash can cause shadowing or unnecessary glare. Red-eye can also be a problem with flash photography.
  4. Emailing images – when emailing photos, don’t reduce the file size. When you reduce the file size you also reduce the amount of information and detail in an image. It is the finer details that I need to see to create a lifelike portrait.
  5. The more the merrier – the more photos you have to choose from the better it is for me. So feel free to email me a few to give me more options.

So remember when choosing a photo of your beloved pet, make sure the lighting is right, the colour of its fur is a true likeness and that the special glint in their eyes is shining through. I’d love to capture the love you have for your pet in a portrait that you can keep forever. If you have any tips of your own to share I’d love to see them in the comments below. If you have any specific questions about your pet portrait then please contact me here and I’d be only to happy to answer them.


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