How to take the Perfect Photo for your Pet Portrait
This is one of the most important things to consider when commissioning a pet portrait. Our artist Gillian can only paint what she can see. Of course photographing your pet and getting a good enough photograph for a portrait can be a bit of a challenge.
If you are looking to commission a pet portrait by Gillian Usher and need some tips on taking a photograph of your pet specifically for the portrait, then you might find the information below helpful. If you need to ask any questions you are more than welcome to email us at any time.
Which device should I use: digital camera, mobile or tablet?
The majority of us have a phone, tablet or camera on us at all times. These are simple to use and always on hand to capture that perfect moment. Most devices take very good photos, but there are some that don’t take a photo that is good enough for a pet portrait. When using a mobile phone or tablet, make sure that it has enough mega-pixels to take a high quality photo of your pet and follow our useful tips below.
Photos are key to a pet portrait – the best portraits come from the best photos; ones that are clear and allow the artist to see the finer details of your pet. If you have access to a digital camera, then we would advise that you use this to take a range of photos to try and get that perfect take of your pet and the best quality photo for your portrait.
Positioning is key
Many of us snap away taking photos of our pets when looking down at them – this is what we do when we are out walking the dog or playing in the garden. Although this is perfectly normal, these do not make the best photos. It is sometimes better to ‘stage’ your photo so that you get the best from your pet. Your portrait will usually be displayed at eye level, or at least on a sideboard, so it makes much more sense to take a photo at their eye level.
To achieve perfect photos, we would advise that you crouch or lie down when taking photos (depending on the size of your pet). When taking the photos, try and visualise what you want the portrait to look like and make sure that you have your pet in the right pose to achieve this. Most of our customers like a side profile or their pet looking straight onto the camera for a head and shoulder style portrait.
If you are looking for a group portrait then please don’t worry about them all sitting together perfectly. You may be there a very long time trying to get them all posing together. As long as you take the photos in the same lighting and at similar angles, then we can put them together for you. We always send an outline of how a group portrait will look before drawing in the detail.
Lighting - indoor/outdoor, flash/no flash?
If possible, try to take your photos outside as natural lighting is always better that using a flash indoors. Please don’t use a flash as it changes the colour of your pets hair/fur and can cause glare on their eyes. Outside on a bright but overcast day is perfect. The more natural light you can get, the better your portrait will look. One tip…don’t face your pet into the light and make sure the light is behind them.
The perfect distance - fill the view finder with your pet
As mentioned earlier, the majority of our customers tend to get a head and shoulder portrait of their pet. To ensure that you capture the finer details of your pet, we would advise that you fill the view-finder with your pets head and chest rather than take a photo from the distance and zoom in on the computer. If your pet is in the distance and you zoom in to see a close up, you will find that the image becomes blurry. Our artist Gillian can only draw what she can see, so its essential to take the best picture possible to achieve a high quality and detailed portrait.
Sending us your photo(s)
When sending your photo to us, please don't reduce the file size as you will lose picture quality. We have a large inbox and can accept large files. Please send your photos in as high as resolution as possible - the detail is essential to create your perfect portrait. If you have any problems sending us a photo, please send us a message via firstname.lastname@example.org