If you have a question about finding or taking suitable photos for your pet's portrait, by all means, ask: Email me, use the chat box to the right or call 412-828-8679.
I work from photos, since even the best-trained pets have no patience for a portrait sitting! ;-) Sending a variety of photos usually works best, since sometimes I can combine the best from each. You can email digital photos or scans or snail-mail traditional photos, which I will return with your portrait.
I'll return your Photos and CDs to you with your portrait.
Send me your original digital photos at full resolution to preserve as much detail as possible (don't reduce or enlarge them):
Sign up for my free email mini-course "Taking Portrait-Worthy Pet Photos" to learn more.
If your pet is gone, send what photos you have. I will combine the best from each to get the detail I need. That's what I did for this memorial portrait of Britt, a Welsh Springer Spaniel. Finding photos for this one was a special challenge, since Britt's owners' friends were arranging the portrait as a surprise sympathy gift.
|Britt, a Welsh Springer Spaniel, died suddenly at only six years old. Britt's mom's friends wanted to comfort her with a portrait showing off Britt's beautiful face. Obviously, there was no chance to take the perfect picture. Their solution was to find (being very sneaky to not ruin the surprise!) several pictures.||In the finished portrait, I combined elements of several photos. Her mom's favorite photo with the cocked head was over-exposed so there was no detail visible in the highlights. I started with the cocked head expression, then pulled the missing details, like Britt's freckles, from the bottom photos and her silky ears from the top left and bottom right photos.|
Yes, since it is nearly impossible to get photos of two critters together without one of them moving, looking the wrong way, etc. It is best to have the same lighting conditions if you want them to look like they are sitting together naturally. That’s what I did with this portrait of the three kitties to the right.
The two on the right were actually sitting together in the photo, but the one on the left was added. I was able to find a photo that was lit from the same angle and she was even looking the same direction! (Scroll to the bottom of this page to see the photos combined for this painting.) Having a lot of photos to choose from helps, especially since this was done posthumously, so I didn’t have the option to take more photos.
One of the challenges of combining pets in a portrait is that the lighting is usually different on each. It helps to have plenty of photos, since I’ll often need to use the pose from one photo, but the lighting from another.
If you don’t have suitable photos already, my advice is to take them outside in bright shade (not direct sunlight) and just start shooting as many photos as you can from different angles. Most likely we’ll be able to pick suitable photos from the bunch (if you have a digital camera, this is pain-free, since taking a lot of photos doesn’t cost any more than taking one.). If you can get them to sit in the same spot, facing (roughly) the same direction with respect to the light (it's OK if they are looking different directions, as long as the light is coming from the same angle), we’ll be sure to have something to work with.
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