TIPS FOR TAKING PICTURES
It is very important to have a good photograph to work from. The quality of my portrait will be dependent on your photos.
You need a photograph that is clear, up close (fill the view finder with your pet, not your house or garden!), and is of a pose that is typical of your pet. . To achieve this the following guide helps you get the photo you want.
The best possible lighting is achieved outside or by a window. If you are outside avoid direct sunlight as this will make your pet squint and also you will have dark shadows on the face and the colouring of fur will not be true. If the sun is out, put your pet in the shade, but stand with your back to the garden that has the sun on it otherwise your camera will focus on the area with the sun and your pet will just be a shadow in the foreground. (have the light source behind you)
The best day is a bright overcast day (not too heavy cloud so the light is still getting through). Even on an overcast day, make sure the light source is behind you. We can't see it with our eyes, but the camera does and if your pet has his or hers back to the light there will still be shadows. Check where the sun would be if it were out and then stand with your back to it.
If you have to take your photo indoors, then in a light room near the window is best. Morning light is best. (your back to the window and your pet facing the window). Try to avoid using the flash, as this will cause red eye in your photo. (although this can be fixed).
The best position of your pet is to have yourself right down at the same level of your pet. Photos pointing down don't look right. If need be lie down.
It is a good idea to have someone next to you with a favourite toy or sweetie, or to say a word that gets your pet to look interested. Have your pet look at the person next to you. As this pose is better than face on or completely side view. A slight angle to the side is much better.
Make sure the person is standing right next to you and at your level holding the toy or sweetie by your shoulder. If they are standing higher than you, the pet will look up at them and not at your level. Which defeats you being down on the floor!!!.
If your pet is small enough, it works well if someone holds them in their arms. (I can leave the person out!!). Then have another person hold the toy by your shoulder. This way works really well for small animals.
It's a good idea to get several photos over a period of a couple of days. We don't want your pet to look fed up!!
And finally remember to have fun, if you start taking photos well before you need the painting then there is no rush or stress on you.