The reference photos you provide are the most important part of your commission and I will need a selection to paint from.
I would like you to invest some real time in the photography process as poor photo's make poor paintings.
But don't worry! You don't need a fancy camera or top level photography skills!
The guidance I've provided on this page will help you take photo's on even your phone like a pro!
If you're still struggling, I offer a very reasonably priced photo shoot service.
Photographs should be in a digital format. Today, phone cameras are of such good quality their products can be as good as a digital camera.
I need to zoom in without pixellation so i can study the finer details.
To avoid loss of resolution, please send the original image from your phone or camera rather than a compressed copy.
You will be happy to know that you don't need to co-ordinate a whole pack of dogs into the perfect group shot for your multi subject portrait!
If you take seperate photographs I will arrange them together into a composition. However it is important the photographs are consistent in lighting, resolution and level to/distance from the subject, otherwise the finished portrait will look odd.
Please take your photograph in natural lighting, This is best achieved outside or by a large window. Avoid bright sun as this casts stark, unnatural shadows, deadens the colours and creates a "flat" image. it may also cause the subject to squint.
For the same reasons, please always avoid the use of flash.
It is best to use a bright day, in moments when the sun has "gone in" for a natural even light.
Another great time to photograph your pet is in the late evening or eatly morning, The red spectrum that prevails at this time casts beautiful colours into the coat which will add tonal interest to your painting,. This effect is particularly pronounced on black or white animals.
A crisp frosty morning also tends to cast a pleasant light.
Avoid snow! Snow will suck all the colour and light out of your animal, unless the photo is taken in the evening or morning when the light is most colourful.
The subject needs to fill the frame and be in focus.
Unless you really want the "dog looking up at you" pose, try to get down to the subjects eye level rather than taking it from above. With pets it helps to get a friend to gain the animals attention with a treat. Move the treat around to encourage the animal to change the position of its body and head, allowing you to capture a range of poses.
You can also try squeaking and making funny noises to get dogs to cock their head and prick their ears into quirky poses packed with character!
Get as close as you can to the subject so the subjects head or body (depending on which study you require) fills as much of the frame as possible (without cutting parts off or getting so close your dog looks like it has a really big nose!). Don't use zoom unless you have a really good camera as you can lose resolution.
Alternatively, I can visit you and take photographs of the subject/s with my own DSLR camera. at a charge of £30 + 45p per mile.