Tips for photos

Getting the right reference photo can make all the difference – I can only draw what I can see! Below you’ll find some tips on choosing the right photo and examples of what will work, and what won’t! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

However! I know pet portraits often serve as a loving way to remember a lost pet, in these instances I’m obviously happy to work with whatever images you have and will do my best to ensure you get a fitting tribute for your friend.


Use a photo with too much contrast, dark patches or that cuts off some of the pet, particularly around the face. Make sure the facial features are clearly visible.


Use a photo which clearly shows your pets face and ensure all parts of the pets head are in the photo. Take the photo at the same level as the pet, not at an awkward angle.

Resolution – Being able to clearly see your pet’s features and markings will make it so much easier for me to capture them and their personality. Blurry photos will make it hard to get right!

Lighting – The ideal photo would be taken outside in natural lighting, however the main thing is for the image to be clear, bright and for the colours to be accurate.

Please don’t use photos with filters! If the colours in the image aren’t right, the colours in my painting wont be!

Staging – Ideally I need the photo to be as close up as possible – but you need to include as much of your pet as you want me to paint. If you want a full body portrait, I need all of the pet in the photo. If you just want a head-shot then a close-up of your pets face is ideal! I want your pet to look as you have imagined, so please provide me with a photo of them in your ideal pose for the portrait.

It also helps to take the photo from the same level as your pet, otherwise the portrait will be at an angle.

Background – As I won’t be painting the background (unless requested at extra cost) it doesn’t matter what this looks like in the photo so long as it isn’t obstructing the image of the pet.

Commission A Pet Portrait

If you’d like to book in a painting of your pet, get in touch at or on Facebook or Instagram!