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Reference Photo Tips

The first thing to bear in mind when thinking about photos of your pet is that you don't need lots of expensive camera equipment to get good photos for your pet's drawing.


The two key things to aim for are detail in your pet's eyes and the direction of their fur.


Below are some simple tips that will help you get the best photos that I can draw from. Remember the better the reference photo the better the drawing will be. Follow these tips and aim for those two key things and you should get some good photos.

Get down to eye level

Drawings work best from photos with the pet at eye level - as in the example of Kizi. Kneel down and aim to get a shot of them facing you or looking slightly to the side shot - maybe use a treat to get their attention.

Take lots of photos

Take as many photos as you can. This way you'll be able to ignore ones where they have their eyes closed or ear inside out, and send me lots of shots from which I can suggest the best one to use.

Watch out for the background

If the background is cluttered or a similar colour to the pet, this can be distracting as it can be difficult to clearly see the subject - a white dog against a white background is not going to be a good reference photo. Try to get a plain or neutral background.

Natural lighting

Take your photos in natural light, near to a window where the light will highlight your pet's face, either straight on or to the side. Make sure their eyes are well lit and not cast in too much shadow, and you can see the detail of their fur.

Pet's that have passed away

I often do drawings of dogs that have sadly passed away. I just need you to send me lots of photos to work with so that I can pick up details in some where they may be missing in others. 

Multiple pets in one drawing

For drawings with more than one dog please send me separate photos of each dog, facing the same way. Don't bother even trying to get a photo of all of them together as it's guaranteed that at least one of them will look away!

If you're not sure about any photos just email me what you have and I can let you know which ones will work.


07824 596001



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