Photographs are key to creating portraits. Photographs are often the only way I get to meet my subject; they are my window into a pet’s personality.

A good photo will result in a good portrait. The better the quality of a photograph, and the more photographs I have to work with, the better the portrait.


When submitting photographs for a commission, please identify the following:

  • Your favourite photographs, and why.
  • The photographs that best represents colour.
  • The photographs that best represent personality and character.
  • The photograph that has the pose you wish to replicate.


The ideal pet photograph will have the following characteristics.

Taken with a digital camera when possible

Digital cameras usually provide greater resolution and sharpness. Try to take a picture with the lens zoomed out to reduce distortion.

Digital phones and tablets are often at a lower resolution. They also often introduce blur into the photograph due to camera shake and slower shutter speeds, as well as introducing distortion. Avoid zooming in with a digital phone or tablet as the zoom is often digital and not optical; a digital zoom tends to pixelate an image rather than render it sharper.

All photographs will be considered, so if you have any doubts about the quality of a photograph, simply submit it for review.

Taken at the highest resolution possible

A high resolution image will allow for zooming in to a photograph to inspect details that may not be available with a low resolution photograph.

When emailing a photograph, attach the photograph rather than embedding it into the email as embedding often compresses a photograph to make for a smaller email message.

Taken in natural light (no flash)

Flash photography tends to eliminate highlights and shadows, thereby reducing the details and colouration that allows a portrait to pop. Look for photographs taken on sunny or slightly cloudy days. Make sure your pet is facing the light.

Subject fills the picture frame

If you are requesting a head-shot portrait, look for photographs that showcase the head of the subject. Make sure the entire head is visible and that no features are cropped off, such as the ears.

If you are requesting a full-body portrait, look for photographs that showcase the entire subject. Make sure the entire body is visible and that no features are cropped off, such as the feet or tail.

You can submit other photographs to detail pose, colour, and personality.

Subject is clear and sharp

Look for photographs that are clear and sharp, especially when zoomed in. You want to be able to see details in the fur and eyes.

Taken at the subject’s eye level

A photograph taken at the subject’s eye level tends to produce more pleasing images. Take into consideration where the portrait will likely be displayed, such as on a wall at eye level, and picture how the portrait will look when finished.

Taken as you would like the final portrait to be

If you wish to get a finished portrait without a collar, try to submit photographs where your pet is not wearing the collar. It is difficult to remove objects as the area covered by the object then need to be made up.


If your pet has passed away, I will work with you to review any photographs available. I will be able to provide you with an idea of how a portrait will turn out based on the photographs.