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.
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.