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Photo Guide

The best photos are sharp and in focus.  A close up of the subject, with no blurry areas on the face and a true likeness to the subjects colouring is perfect. Look for a photo that shows the eyes in great detail, as eyes are the windows to our soul and a very important feature of a portrait. Sadly, I am unable to work from a blurry photo as I cannot produce a convincing portrait using guess work and will only accept a commission if I believe I can get a good result and  create a portrait you can be proud of.

Examples of Good Photographs


Good pose, highly detailed, good natural lighting and  true natural colours.

gary's dog.jpg

Example of Common Problems


Poor/harsh lighting, out of focus and lack of detail, red/glowing eyes, pet looking up/down or has its eyes closed or eyes and facial features are not clearly visible.


When drawing a portrait, the photographs I’ll work from are extremely important as I will be creating a portrait of a subject I have never met! To get an accurate likeness, I will need to draw from one photo but it is useful for me to see other photos as well, so that I can get a full impression of the subject’s appearance and I can sometimes see details such as the subjects eye colour that may not be as obvious in your favourite photo.

Here are some tips for a good photo

  • Take the photo’s outside in natural light. This is especially important with white dogs as their fur can seem yellow and dirty in artificial light.

  • Avoid taking photos in strong sunlight as it casts large shadows. Instead take them in the shade or early in the morning  or late afternoon; the light is softer and more flattering then.

  • It is difficult to get a great photo sometimes of pets or little people! If they won’t cooperate, I have found that taking a video can sometimes prove useful. You can look through the video and take screen shots of the moments you like.

  • Avoid using flash, as it can cause issues such as unnatural shadows, colours and red eye.

  • If possible, use a camera to take photos as a camera will often result in sharper, detailed and better lit photos.

  • Don’t take a photo that is too far away, as it won’t have enough detail.

  • Look for photos that have clear detail in the eyes and facial features, are in focus and show a true refection of the subjects colouring.


What I can do to help


I can sometimes work a little magic and sharpen details in photoshop, so do send  your favourite photo and I will see what I can do. I will contact you if I am not happy that I can produce a good portrait from your photo and we can discuss your options.


I can tidy up certain aspects like stray hair or fur, get rid of blemishes and tidy up a collar if you ask me before I start the portrait.


I may be able to fix red eye.


If you are looking at commissioning a portrait of a pet or a person that has sadly passed away and you have limited photos available, but please don't worry - send me as many photos as you can and we can work through them together.

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