Photo Tips for Getting Great Pet Photos

The photographs I receive and use as references for my paintings are a large part of the painting process as a whole. Since I work from photos, the completed portrait depends on the quality of the photos you send me! When available send photos that are high quality and taken with a digital camera. 

 For a close up portrait of your pet, make sure you fill up the viewfinder with your pet, rather than taking a far off photo that you have to zoom in on. This will make sure we can see the details.

For a close up portrait of your pet, make sure you fill up the viewfinder with your pet, rather than taking a far off photo that you have to zoom in on. This will make sure we can see the details.

 Paintings can be goofy! A good photo does not always have to be a serious one. 

Paintings can be goofy! A good photo does not always have to be a serious one. 

•  Take photos outdoors, on a fair day, in early morning or late afternoon, or indoors in a bright and well-lit room. Taking photos in natural light, preferably in the shade to prevent harsh shadows, will help reflect the true coloring of your pet. 

•  Take the photos in a place where your pet is comfortable being themselves, such as in your yard, in the windowsill, etc. 

•  Have someone help. One person should be free to take the photo and someone else to pose or entertain the pet.

•  Get down or up to pet eye-level to take your pet’s photos. Remember that the eyes are the most expressive part of an animal’s face! This is helpful for creating good perspective, and this will translate best to canvas. 

•  Take lots of photos, from many different angles and different poses. 

•  If your pet is dark-colored, try to take photos in front of lighter backgrounds; if your pet is light-colored, try to take photos in front of darker backgrounds. In general, keep backgrounds simple and uncluttered is really helpful. 

•  Photographing your pet on a hard surface such as wood flooring, concrete or windowsills is ideal as it allows us to see their paws. 

•  Use a camera with an automatic focus. Animals move quickly and often, and adjusting the manual focus can take a little time.

•  Let your pet take breaks and act natural, sometimes tiring them out before a photo session makes for some great smiles! 

•  Don’t forget to pay your model! Treats, toys, love and affection are all good payment!