Photographing Your Pet

To photograph your pet for a pet portrait, the first thing is to get down to the eye level of the animal. There is no point in taking it from above as you will end up with a large head and small legs in the photograph and if you imagine this translated to a picture on your wall it wouldn't work. So have a think how you would like the animal to appear in your painting and try and get some shots of it in that position. So the example in the gallery above is an ideal example.  It has been taken from down at the level of the dog. jack

Think of what pose you would like the animal to take in a picture. Would you like them looking directly at you or would you like them to be looking to the side. It can be quite difficult to get an animal to look directly at the camera while you are photographing it, but don't worry, some of the best portraits are of an animal looking to the side. If you only want a head and shoulders painting then it doesn't matter what the rest of the animal looks like in the picture. The background does not particularly matter and can often be changed, but if you do wish the animal to be sitting in, for example, your garden, then it is best to try and get a picture there.

For the best coat colour results, then it is apparently not best to take the picture in full sunlight or at least in daylight and out of doors. Afternoon and morning light are best. If you have two pictures e.g. one with a more accurate coat colouring and another picture which maybe has a better pose then I can work from both. Certain colours such as all white and all black need extra attention to lighting and in fact any dog will benefit from you looking at the lighting. Daylight is usually the best for taking your picture. Not necessarily in full sunlight although this might be the effect you would like to see in the photograph.

Get in as close as possible for some of the photographs to get detailing of the fur and eyes and ecollie paintingars etc. Also, for head studies you may wish to take some photographs of just the head and shoulders. Morning and afternoon or evening light can be softer than the glaring midday sunlight which may almost produce too much contrast on your animal's coat. However it is really just a case of experimenting to get the best shot.

Please supply me with as many good, clear photographs as you can. The better the photographs, the better the results will be. If you have pictures taken with a digital camera then you can email them to me so I can have a look at them.

All photographs will be returned with the finished portrait. If you would be very worried about losing a particular photograph then it is probably best to take a copy before posting it. I will look after it with great care but I would hate a treasured photograph to get lost in the post or damaged in any way if it is the only copy.


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