Pet Photography Tips

It is far better to photograph your pet outside, on a bright day, preferably not in very bright sunshine. Unless taken professionally, indoor photographs are not very accurate regarding colour and detail. Artificial or bright lighting can have a detrimental effect regarding the true colour of the eyes and coat of your pet, dramatically altering the appearance of your pet. To produce an accurate portrayal of your pet, a photograph taken in bright daylight is far more detailed and informative.

You may already have an idea as to the portrait you would like, if not, take photographs of your pet standing, sitting and laying down. If you require two or more pets in a portrait, individual photographs of each subject are fine. It is not necessary to photograph both subjects together.

In order to take good photographs it is better to photograph your subject whilst you are also sat on the ground. Photographs taken with you both at the same eye level are far better than ones taken from above. Photograph your pet as close as possible, a zoom lens is ideal for this sort of work as it provides detailed information and does not distract the subject. This applies to both head shots and full body poses. If you are too close to your subject you will probably end up with a blurry photograph of a big nose – most pets are always keen to investigate!

When taking a photograph for a head portrait, rather than taking it directly head-on, move slightly to the side of the subject so that their face is turned slightly towards you. This adds interest to the portrait. The ideal photographs should be clear and as close as possible and all photographs provided should be typical of your pet.

When taking photographs it is also a good idea to have small treats to hand as they will often be useful when trying to capture an attentive expression or the desired response.

Once you have selected the photographs you feel are a good representation of your pet, mark the photograph you wish me to portray, on the reverse side. Likewise, if you are sending low-resolution digital images on a disc; it is important for me to have at least one clear, ‘subject in a good position’ photograph, to work from. Along with your preferred picture choice, please also indicate the photos you feel best represent colour accuracy etc. If you wish to email your photographs I am happy to receive jpg images, at a reduced size. A number of smaller jpg images can be emailed and viewed far more easily.

When the images required for the portrait have been selected, your original high-resolution photographs can be sent on a cd or transferred to an online virtual storage utility. An online service allows you to make your high resolution, high-quality photograph files accessible from almost anywhere and is much easier, more secure and more practical than emailing large files. Photographs are precious and sending via cd or an online storage utility are definitely the preferred options. As mentioned above, I am happy to receive a cd or printed photographs but please ensure all items posted via Royal Mail are sent via Recorded or Special Delivery in order that they arrive safely.

As it is not always possible for me to meet your pet, any information that you can provide is appreciated. Providing as many photographs as possible also helps me to understand the character of your pet.

All images provided will be well-cared for and protected. Printed photographs and cd’s will be returned in the same condition as they were received, along with the completed portrait.

Bespoke pet portrait commission of two cats.
Photo of cat.
Photo of cat.

Bespoke Artwork

The size of your pet portrait depends on the subject and your specific requirements, for e.g a head or a full-body portrait. As a guide, a dog/cat pet portrait is approximately 190mm x 170mm.

Small paintings, drawings and miniature portraits, as well as larger scale artworks, are available on request. Prices vary considerably depending on the subject, the detail required size, medium, background etc.

As each commission varies, please feel free to contact me regarding your pet and your requirements. With more detailed information, I will be in a position to give you a much clearer idea as to the price for your own, unique portrait.

My highly detailed pencil drawings and pencil sketches are portrayed on the finest quality 100% neutral PH paper. A unique and fine quality mat surface is used for producing my detailed pastel portraits. My oil paintings are painted onto stretched 100% artist cotton canvas or fine grain canvas board.

To be sure that your portrait is completed for a specific date, I advise as a basic guide for completion: pencil portrait 4 weeks, pastel portrait 8 weeks, portrait in oils 16+ weeks.

If you wish to have your artwork mounted, unless specified otherwise, I will select the mountboard most suitable for your painting. A mounted artwork will arrive at its destination requiring only to be framed in a moulding of your choice. The framed size of a mounted, head portrait is approximately 400mm x 430mm. Should you wish to have a fully framed portrait the cost is dependent on the type of frame required. A medium priced frame for a head portrait will cost approximately £70.

Please be assured that only the best quality mouldings and mountboards are used.

Postage, Packing and Payment
Once a commission has been accepted, as a goodwill gesture, a deposit of 25% is requested with the order.

When the completed artwork has been approved, the final payment may be made either by BACS, Credit Card, Cheque (pounds sterling) or by MoneyGram. On receipt of payment the commissioned artwork will be posted immediately and tracked en-route to the specified postal address.

Completed portraits are wrapped and posted flat. When posting framed portraits, a lightweight glass substitute is used in preference to glass for safety whilst in transit. For further details please see Guarantee – Terms and Conditions.

For the past 24 years I have been working as a professional Wildlife and Pet Portrait Artist. Throughout these years I have had the pleasure of painting many Pet Portraits, meeting some lovely owners and their even lovelier pets.

I hope that the above has been of help and look forward to hearing from you.  For my contact details click here.

Bespoke pet portrait of a whippet lying down.
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