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Pet Reference Photo Guide

A Guide to Help You Take and Choose the Best Photo for Your Pet Portrait

As a realistic pet portrait artist, I rely heavily on detailed reference photos to accurately draw your pet. The more detail, the better able I am to render a more realistic painting.  Below are some tips in taking and choosing a reference photo for your pet.

CAMERA

You do not need to have a DSLR camera to take a good photograph of your pet! Most iPhones and Androids can take fantastic photos, if taken in the right lighting. Of course, if you do have access to a DSLR or a friend who has one, use it!

LIGHTING

Turn off the flash! A flash will make a photo look flat and oftentimes will give the subject red-eye. Instead, use natural light. Take your photos outside on a cloudy day. Indoor pets can be photographed in a well-lit room by a window. This works well for cats that like to bird-watch out a window.

ANGLES

Take photos of your pet at eye level. These will provide the most flattering pet portrait.  Make sure your pet is either looking at you or just past your shoulder.  Ideally you want to be able to see both eyes. Also make sure your pet fills the frame and isn’t cut off or too far away. Bust shots (head and chest) make excellent pet portraits.

Don’t Panic!

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to take good photos of your pet. All you need to do is recognize the difference between a good photo and a bad photo and follow my tips above. Sometimes it just takes a bit of patience. A treat goes a long way in getting a pet to cooperate! Have a little patience and you will be rewarded with a good photo! If you are still unsure, you can always email me at GuildbrookArt@gmail.com

What I Look For In a Good Photograph:

Detail in the Nose and Fur

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Reflections in the Eyes

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Examples of Good Photographs:

These two photos show good fur detail and there is a reflection in their eyes.  These would make excellent pet portraits.

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Dog_Example.jpg

Common Problems:

These represent common issues that I see with pet portrait references. I would not be able to use any photos with these problems.

Blurry/Dark

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Too Far Away

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Blurry/Flash Used/Green Eye

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Too Much Contrast/Details Lost

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Bad Angle/Fur Detail Lost

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Holding Pet/Bad Angle

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Remember: if you have any questions, feel free to Contact me and I can help!