Photography Tips

Many of us have lovely photos taken with a mobile phone or tablet, because they are often to hand to capture those funny little moments that mean so much. When creating a portrait I need as much detail as possible, something images taken on a mobile or tablet often lack even with today’s wonderful technology.  

In order to capture the best image of your pet use a digital camera rather than a mobile or tablet.

  • Aim to take your photo in the best light conditions possible. Natural light is best, so if you can take your photograph either outside or next to windows inside, do so. Be careful of full sun and cast shadows which can bleach out detail or make it hard to see the form of the animal. Avoid using a flash this distorts the coat colouration and eyes as well as startles many animals.
  • Take the photo from your pets eye-level if you can. (In some cases this might mean getting down very low for the best results!) –( OR lifting raising your pet to a higher surface level if it is safe to do so)
  • A three quarter (head slightly turned) rather than straight on or turned sideways is often the best pose.
  • Frame your shot so you are right up close to the animal. It is best to do this by physically being closer rather than using the zoom too much. A zoom digitally enlarges without adding information resulting in slightly blurred images when you see them on the computer. Try to have as little background as possible in the photo. Head shots should be right up close!
  • You may need someone to help encourage your pet to look the right way, sit and stay! Cats in particular may need some careful planning to be in the right place looking the right way with good light, but with a bit of patience and ingenuity good photographs can be taken quite quickly. Plan the ‘photo-shoot’ so it is as relaxed and fun as possible. Every animal has a different temperament and responds differently to your attempts to capture them on camera.
  •  Take as many photos as you can, this will give you choice as to which ones have the best images in terms of light, clear detail and really captures the typical character of your pet that you would like me to use to create your wonderful and special commissioned pet-portrait.
  • Horses & Ponies – Blankets obscure the neck so please take photos of your horse or pony without. If you would like your portrait to be natural (without any tack) please remove this as well. If your photo has tack I will include it in the portrait. As you will already know they often look their best during Spring and Summer, so you may want to take your photographs at this time; this may well depend on your horse or pony’s character and a matter of your personal choice.
  • If you are experiencing any problems or would like to discuss photographing your pet, give me a call, I may be able to offer further tips and advice that may help.
  • If your intended portrait candidate has sadly passed away and you only have a few precious photos & are unsure whether they are suitable for a portrait, please feel free to contact me, I will be able to advise you is I can create a portrait that you would be happy with or not. All photographs received by post will be returned to you.
  • You can find my contact details on my contact page. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing any photographs you have of your special friend(s); if you email me I will get back to you as soon as I can. If your intended portrait is a surprise gift for a loved one, please ensure you provide me with contact details that will allow me to contact you without spoiling the secret!

Sending Images

Please send your images as large a resolution as possible as reduction of image size can result in the details being lost. You can send images by email or on a cd/USB in the post. If the photos are large, send a couple at a time. I usually use just one photo to create the image, so please indicate which one you feel best represents your pets character and colouration. However it is often useful to have other photos to refer to.