How To Photograph Your Pet For Portraits

How To Photograph Your Pet For Portraits

As pet owners, we see our pets every day and have gotten to know all their quirks and funny expressions.  Personality is often hard to capture in photos, but the photos you share with me are all I have to accurately portray your pet's character.

I appreciate receiving multiple photos and please, point out any characteristics that are especially important to you, such as a certain tilt of the head, or a funny tuft of fur or feathers.  Clear details are very important in capturing the unique qualities you love about your pet(s). Here is a checklist to help you get the best photos.  Have fun with it!

Checklist: Photographing Your Pet

  • No need for a fancy camera, just use the portrait setting on your phone
  • Plan your photos ahead of time to decide what you most want to capture (a great head shot or a favourite sitting or sleeping position)
  • Do go through photos you already have as they may give you great ideas for new pics, and may even be suitable to submit as long as there is good lighting and clear details.  No blurry or far away shots please.
  • Natural light is best so try to take your photos outside on a cloudy day.  Direct sunlight can cast strange shadows
  • I need to see the eyes clearly so get down to their eye level (though the eyes don't have to be open.)The final portrait is much more appealing at eye level rather than looking down (except in the case of funny snout shots)

  • Take someone with you if possible, so one of you can snap pictures while the other one uses treats or squeaky toys to draw attention
  • If the final portrait will have multiple subjects, try to photograph them together so that I can see how they relate in size and colour, even if the pose isn't suitable.  I am happy to combine photos for your project as long as the lighting and direction are at least very close
  • Make sure the photos show accurate colours of your pet(s). Describing them to me using food colours is also very helpful

I realize in some cases taking current photos is not possible and I will strive to do my best to honour your pet with the photos you have.  Send me as many as you like and let me know which ones capture specific traits you would like to see in the final portrait.

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