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Photography Suggestions

Think of special moment with your pet.    One that just warms your heart.    This could be playing with a special toy, when they come up to you to get petted, or my favorite time that I really miss now, is when they meet me at the door after I had been away.   Maybe it is when you pick them up from the groomer and they have a cute little ribbon in their hair.   What is it that you would love to remember?   Think on these things, maybe it will give you ideas for a pet portrait that is full of the character of your pet.


Helpful hints for taking pet photos:

  1. Light on the subject is super important.   Make sure your pet is well lit.   It is best to be out in the sun, or by a window.  

  2.  If you pet is black – you will want a really strong light to show the differences in their coat. Some parts are shiny, parts in folds are darker, we want this to show in their coat. In Photoshop I can pull information out of some of the darker areas.

  3. If your pet is white.   The light doesn’t need to be strong on white hair.   Sometimes it can lose all detail in strong light – this is called blown out.    Make sure to check you photo to see if there is definition in the white hair.

  4. What if your pet has white and dark hair?   It’s best to be in light shade.   Work on having the definition in the white hair – I will use photoshop on dark hair.

  5. This will be a painting of just their head and maybe shoulders.  Stand close to them to take the photo. It doesn’t matter if they are sitting or standing. 

  6. To get your pet to look at you - a helpful hint is to squeak a toy or make high pitched noise or squeak for a second or two.    Usually this makes dogs close their mouths, and look at you with their ears perked. Sometimes they tilt their heads.   You can only use this once or twice then they figure out what you are doing.   Cats – I think they are all different.   I have scratched on fabric to get their attention, or crinkled a piece of paper.  Maybe say meow?

If you use your phone camera:

  1. Get closer to your pet – don’t use the zoom function if you can help it.  This will give me more information in their eyes and nose.

  2. I would really like to have the clear information of their eyes and nose – it will make this painting recognizable as your pet, even with all the crazy colors.  Check your picture after you take it.  Zoom in on the picture and see if the eyes and nose are clear.

If you have any questions just email me at

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