How to take a reference photo

I make your Pet Portraits using a reference photo of your choice, however the photo you choose is a reflection on the quality of the portrait. to help you choose the best photo to use I have compiled a few 'do's and don'ts' in the list below.


Too far away

Photographs must be close up and in focus.

  • Photos must be high resolution and well lit, preferably taken outside in natural diffused light e.g. a cloudy day. If your pet can’t go outside a space that is naturally lit like a window will be fine as the use of flash is discouraged.


The cat is sitting on the windowsill, on a cloudy day. lovely diffused light casting subtle shadows.


photo taken in the dark, so flash has washed out the colour of fur, made the cat squint. also bad composition as cats body is further forward than its head resulting in a warped perspective.


the cat is looking up at the camera which can change the shape of his face and not translate well into a drawing


Bad composition, photo taken to high so cat is looking upwards.


The cat is sitting on the windowsill, on a cloudy day. lovely diffused light casting subtle shadows. picture is close up and cat is looking at the camera at his eye level

You can see the cat is well lit, all important features are visible. nice close up ohoto and unusual composition!

  • A good eye for composition is key, take a photo at your pets eye level. looking down on a pet, forces them to look up and will distort how they look in the portrait.

  •  Filters are not our friends!! I cannot use photos with filters applied. The photograph must be a true representation of the colour of your pets eyes, fur or feathers


Original Image, clear, up close, original fur colour, most accurate to work from.

  • Pull on those heart strings! Pick a photograph that best captures their character, while they are wearing their best bow tie or playing with their favourite squeaky toy

Colours are completley wrong and there is loss of detail.

the fade on this filter has reduced the detail in the fur and eyes