As mentioned before, all my work is done from photographs. For multiple pet portraits, clear and sharp photographs of each pet are required. All of this will contribute to getting the best level of detail of your pet.
While taking reference photographs it is vital to bear in mind that the portrait will usually be at eye level on your wall.
I find that the best shot is always when you have taken the photograph at your pets level. This can be done by crouching with the camera or raising your pet on a higher surface. I have given you an example of a good and bad photograph of my own dog which I hope will help you.
- Take as many photographs as you can. This will ensure you have a greater chance of 2-3 suitable images.
- Try to stand away from the subject approximately 3-6 feet. You will need to zoom in to ensure the subject fills the picture.
- Ensure you get the desired stance photographed. Ears forward, mouth closed, slight tilted head?
- Try to get close shots of the nose and eyes. Having detail of these features makes all the difference to the final portrait.
- Lighting is important. It’s ideal to take photographs outdoors on a bright day but if this is not possible to positioning your pet near a window or door where lots of natural light floods in.
- It’s best to keep the flash off when photographing your subject indoors. This often creates over exposure of fur and red eye. Every painting evolves from the eyes so this is a very important point to remember.
Here are a few more examples of different poses that would work well for portraits.