Pet Portraits for You

One very good clear photo can be enough, but sometimes not (the mini schnauzer painting was done with one photo for the head and another for the body). Send several additional photos that you think will help me to understand your pet's character and expression - just make sure to indicate what you like in each photo, which one is closest in color, and which photo is the preferred model. If black and white photos are sent for a color portrait, note the colors of eyes, hair etc., or send other photos for reference. If there is more than one pet, or a pet and a person, you may send separate photos and I will make a composition to suit.

Have everything set up and ready to go before posing your pet. Chances are Fido is not going to wait around for you to set up your camera equipment. Pets can be restless, so make sure you donít miss a priceless moment because you were loading film into your camera. Using a ISO 200-400 speed film is recommended to help avoid blurred pictures if the animal moves.
Shoot at eye level -
either get down to their level, or put them up on something, don't shoot from above them. Get close to the subject (but not too close)
the closer the photograph, the more detail I am able to distinguish.
Avoid bright sunlight and flash photos
because it bleaches out features and details.
An open shade - like a porch is nice, but make sure there is enough light
Photograph animals outside on a bright or hazy overcast day - this light is ideal for taking a good picture. If this is not possible, try taking the photographs inside near a window or door on a bright day. Be sure to have your back towards the window with the animal facing towards its natural light
Don't have distracting shadows on the subject!
For instance a lattice shadow, or branches of a tree, unless you want it to be part of your portrait.
Early morning or late afternoon light
is very good light for paintings, the sun coming at an angle creates good shadows & details.
Pose the person so that they have their head turned a bit,
a three-quarter view, instead of a full frontal face is usually a better choice for a portrait. Look at other portraits and magazine photos and advertisements to see what ideas you like Send me a picture from a magazine for reference, if you want.
whistle or squeak a favorite toy
so that they perk up if you want them to look alert,
Have someone hold the animal still

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restrain it in some fashion if it is very lively and won't let you get far enough away to take the picture. That way the photographer will be ready at a momentís notice to snap a picture, while the other person can work on getting your pet to look adorable.
Be patient and have lots of film. Itís important to have plenty of time to take the perfect picture. By watching your pet carefully, you should be able to anticipate when a photo moment is about to occur, so be ready to start snapping at all times.
Good times
to get adorable pictures are when your pet is sleeping or eating. After youíve taken some pictures of your pet in dreamland, you might try nudging him awake and taking some pictures.
If you are having a full-body portrait done, if possible take pictures in at least three poses - standing, sitting, and lying down. If they have a "usual" or typical pose, make sure you get a few photos of it

Any detail you can add will help me understand and capture their personality better.

by Tammy Odom