Are you thinking about commissioning a watercolor portrait of your fur baby? Yay! I love painting pets! Before I start your painting, make sure to send me really good photos of your dog or cat. It actually only takes one if it’s a great photo, but I understand that sometimes it may take a few to show off their best features. Here are my tips (and requirements) for capturing your pet so I can paint them accurately.
Get on Their Level
Kneel down and take the photo on their level (or close to it). This helps me see their stance, belly markings, and natural posture.
Capture Their Eyes
Are they looking at you in the photo? I want to see their eye color and reflections. If their eyes just look dark, please take a closer photo.
Does your photograph show their color and markings accurately? Poor lighting may make me think they are a different color than they really are. Natural light is best, but you can always send me a few if the photo ideal for their stance or head tilt isn’t well lit. Outdoor photos in even light like the one below are perfect!
Do you want your pet’s collar in their photo? Or are they wearing an accessory? I don’t need to have this in the photo you send me, but I do need a written description. I recently had a bride request that her pup’s collar be painted the same color as her bridesmaids dresses. (So I received a photo of those from her as well.)
How Many Images are Required?
Just one if it’s as good as any of the photos above, but that’s a challenge for some. I get it and understand if you need to send a few. These photos are important because there is a good chance I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting your pet and need to look at photos while I draw and paint. Me trying to guess how they look wastes a lot of time and I require good photos before your design week starts. Below is an example of how you may use a couple pictures to show off what you’d like painted.
I don’t want to embarrass or make anyone feel bad, so I’m not going to show examples of unacceptable pet photos. But just one more thing before I get off my pet photo soapbox, if your pet gets hair cuts, please make sure the photo(s) is (are) with the way you want them painted. *Stepping down now.
Here are some last reminders, though, and a checklist to help you send a great photo!