Reference Photo Guide

A quality reference photo is vital in helping me to capture your pet on paper. My style aims to be very realistic, therefore, the more detail the better!

Please click HERE to download my free reference photo guide in PDF form.

 Quick tips for good reference photos:

  • Taken with a digital camera where possible (smartphone photos with lots of fur/hair detail and good lighting are also okay)
  • Large sized (over 1500px across so that I can zoom in)
  • Sharp and clear, with lots of detail
  • Have colours which are as true to life as possible
  • Are taken at eye level with your pet
  • Focus is on the eyes (the eyes are the most important part of the portrait). Being able to see white reflections in eyes (catchlights) is particularly crucial.
  • Capture the animal’s expression how you would like them to be portrayed – often this is with ears forward, looking bright and alert, however you can also snap your pet snoozing or playing with a toy if this is what you would like them drawn doing!

These aren’t all hard and fast rules – if you are in doubt about whether a certain photo is suitable please don’t be shy about sending it to me. Sometimes I can use elements of one photo, even if it isn’t absolutely perfect. I understand that not everyone is a professional photographer and not every pet wants to pose to have their photo taken.

For more information please see my referencing photo taking guide. Once you have had a look, please visit my Commissions Page for more information on ordering a bespoke pet portrait.