Oil painting of dog on beach on canvas 18" x 18"

Ideas for photographing your pet

As I work from photographs, the quality of the photograph is crucially important to the success of the portrait. Here are a few tips on taking a photo of your pet which will produce a good result:

• Try to take the photograph in natural daylight if possible, a bright but overcast day is best, strong sunlight is not advisable as dark shadows can result which obliterate detail. Also please don't use a flash, natural light is always best.

• It's best to get down to the pet's level – his head or head and body should fill the frame (depending on what sort of portrait you want of him). Take a few photos from different angles as it's important to try and convey your pet's personality and character. You could also take a couple of separate photos to give a reference to the colour of his fur and eyes.

• I can work from digital photos or prints, but they must be sharp to show details. If you take digital photos please send me the biggest size possible (which will be the original size from the camera – please don't reduce the size for the purpose of emailing) and it's helpful if the prints are as large as possible too.

• If the photo is taken indoors, choose a position with light coming from a natural source like a window. Please don't use a flash as this can cause unnatural reflections in the eyes.

• Try to focus on his eyes and nose if possible to make sure detail is sharp in these important features.

• If you want your pet to be portrayed against a particular background – his favourite place maybe – you could take a photograph of that as well, or I can suggest possible backdrops.


Having said all that, if your pet is deceased and you haven't got any good quality photos of him, we can still try and work with what
you have.



Angie Wood


Photography tips