What makes a suitable photo?

High Quality Photos

Remember, I cannot draw/paint what I cannot see

The photo you send me is the most important part when you commission a Portrait. The better the photo, the better the end portrait will be.
They need to be sharp, detailed and large enough in size.

If you already have a photo in mind but are unsure if it is good enough Contact Me and we can have a chat about it.


Animal Photographs
Try to find or take a photo of your pet;

- at the animal’s level where possible (ie not looking down on it)
- when your pet is looking slightly to the left or right of the camera. Straight on shots or directly from the side can make the animal's face look flat. Don't leave your pet with only one eye, it’s always better to see both of them.


Avoid extreme lighting which makes highlight areas wash out and the dark areas fill in and also make the colours fade away.
Whenever possible, try to take photos outside in natural lighting rather than inside with flash.
Even though it is often preferred to take photos on a sunny day, try to avoid photos with strong sunlight. 
If you are unable to take photos outside, take photos indoors and place your subject close to a window without flash. Some natural daylight will help you take a better photo and will be perfectly suitable for a portrait.


Sometimes a photo reference will have a dull color, making a good likeness hard to achieve. Every person and every animal has colors that are unique to them and only them. To draw a person or a pet with colors that don’t match them naturally alters how they look. Even a great likeness will appear “off” if the color is not exact to them, so choose a photo which looks accurate to you.

Digital & Old Paper photos
When possible, use a good digital camera to take your reference photo as opposed to a mobile phone or tablet. from an artists perspective it’s easy to see a big clarity difference between a photo taken by a mobile device or a high quality digital camera.

Digital photos are generally better than old paper-based photos, however depending on the quality of an old paper-based photo, I may be able to use it. If your original is at least 5″ x 7″ and taken close up (for example an old school photo of a reasonable size) then I may be able to do so. You could either send the original or have a copy made and post it to me in a card-backed envelope, or if you haven’t got the facilities to produce a high resolution digital scan of it yourself you could ask a printing shop to make a high resolution scan with a minimum of 300 ‘dpi’ and give it to you on a memory card/stick to email or send to me.  I will send any original photograph back with the finished portrait.


REMEMBER: If you already have a photo in mind but are unsure if it is good enough Contact Me and we can have a chat about it.