Take your time in choosing the purrrfect photo for your pet portrait. I can not emphasis enough the importance of sourcing high quality photos in order to get the most out of your portrait. In essence, the higher quality reference photo you provide, the better your portrait will be in terms of detail and clarity.
To summise, the best photos will be:
- high resolution
- have soft lighting
They will display details such as coat direction, catchlight in the eyes, nose texture and accurate coat colour. These essential details are often lost with lower resolution images.
Digital DSLR cameras take the best photos, but if you don’t have access to one, many modern phone cameras are capable of taking high quality photos now a’days.
Whatever device you use, ensure the camera resolution is set to High and the lens is clean and unscratched, this is especially important when using mobile devices.
Natural light is always best so either go outside (overcast days are better than sunny days, which can cast hash shadows) or stand next to a bright window or open door. Position yourself with the light source (sunshine or bright window) behind you and have your pet facing towards the light, this allows you to catch wonderful light reflections in their eyes.
- AVOID FLASH
Using a flash can create bright flares and red-eye effects in the animal’s eyes as well as harsh shadows. It can also make white or black fogs coats appear dull and lifeless.
Consider whether you wish to include a collar in your portrait or opt for a natural effect without one.
Eyes are the window to the soul so do whatever you can to get your pet to look at you. Treats, funny noises…etc.
The best portraits tend to view the animal at eye level, therefore get down to your pets eye level by crouching down so that you are holding the camera level with the animals eyes. Alternatively, try raising your pet up onto a table or sofa to achieve the same result. Aim to have your pet looking towards you, rather than up at you, or enlist a friend to hold treats up behind the animal to hold their focus just over your shoulder as you take the photograph.
Get close to your pet and fill the view finder with the head and chest of your pet without using the zoom function if possible. Long distance shots generally don’t make great portraits, as they lose detail when magnified. Do avoid getting in TOO close though otherwise your lens may distort the image and the resulting photo may not have a natural perspective, unless you are after a quirky novelty effect, which can be really fun.
It helps to consider what sort of portrait you want on your wall. Eyes to camera shots and side angle poses work well, as do quirky unusual poses that reflect your pets character. Ultimately you want to choose a pose that best represents their personality and unique character.
Take plenty of pics and choose the best, sending over a selection in the highest resolution so I can get an idea of their character and colouring. I’m always happy to advise and make suggestions on the available options based on your images.
…the best tip of all is patience and perseverance!!
If you need any further information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.