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PHOTO GUIDE

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TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR PET

My goal is to create a beautiful piece that you can treasure for years to come.  The most important part of this process is the photograph that I will be creating for you and the better the photo, the better the finished portrait!  Unfortunately I commonly see photos that are not very good quality, and the details really make all the difference. Here are some tips and tricks in order to ensure that you take a quality photo that translates well on canvas.   

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QUALITY

The first thing to look for is the quality of the photo.  What really sets a portrait apart is the detail, so the more detail in a photo the better your portrait will naturally be.  Key features such as eyes and nose are especially important.  It is very important that the photo is sharp and in focus, I simply cannot capture the details from a blurry photo. 

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LIGHTING

Lighting is incredibly important to achieve a high quality photo.  Natural light, preferably outdoors, is the best in order to capture detail.  A bright and overcast day is the sweet spot, but direct sunlight can result in harsh shadows and a poor quality photo.

AVOID FLASH

Turn OFF the flash!  Flash can result in an unflattering photo and masks out a lot of the detail.  Colors can be distorted, unnatural shadows occur, and eyes often end up red or glowing.  Natural light is best for capturing the true coloring and look of your pet.

PHOTO ANGLE

Get down on their level!  Take the photo at eye level with your pet, photos looking down on them can look very unnatural to the eye, especially as this piece will be hung at human eye level making it look even more distorted.  The best angles are with your pet looking directly at you or with their head slightly tilted to one side looking past the camera.

USE AN ORIGINAL PHOTO

Screen-shot photos lose a lot of detail, when emailing photos please send the original.  They might look clear at first, however when they are enlarged the are far more blurry then the original would be. When asked for size (Small, Medium, Large, or Actual) please send "Actual" as this will give me the best version of your photo. 

EXAMPLES OF GOOD PHOTOGRAPHS

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Good lighting

Lots of detail

Eye-level with pet

Natural pose

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EXAMPLES OF POOR PHOTOGRAPHS

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Bad lighting

Unnatural angle

Cropped image

Blurry

Awkward Pose

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MULTIPLE PETS

If you are interested in doing a piece with more than one pet it is NOT necessary to have them in the same photo.  Actually it is usually easier to take your favorite photo of each pet and combine them into the desired composition.  I will do a quick mock-up of your pets together and email it to you so that you can see how your piece will be laid out.  It IS helpful however to include a picture of them together in order for me to get an idea of proportion!

Doesn't need to be a good photo- 

just enough to show the sizes of

each pet.

multiple pet portrait showing composition of dogs

PETS THAT HAVE PASSED AWAY

First and foremost, my condolences.  It is so very hard to say goodbye and my heart goes out to you. I understand that in these cases you are working with a limited number of photos.  Don't worry!  Simply email me the photos that you have and we will work out a combination that truly captures your pet. 

FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS!

Not many of us are professional dog photographers so do not worry if you need a little extra help!  I am here to offer you the best advice that I can, and we will review and discuss the details of your commission so that you feel comfortable with this process.  Feel free to send as many photos as you like and I am always just one email away!  :)