I get lots of questions about what kind of photos I need in order to paint your pet perfectly.
To that end, I’m going to share my best tips on how to photograph your pet, but will preface this post by proclaiming that I am no pet photographer (pretty much no prowess in that precinct!). I’ll simply present what has worked for me with all my past paintings, and when photographing my pretty foster puppies.
In case you weren’t paying attention, this post is brought to you by the letter “P“! Moving on (and wiping spittle from my chin)…
There are lots of pet photography tutorials out there on the big ole world wide web, ranging from simple to complex. But there are only a few things you need to know to capture a portrait-worthy image.
Getting those wiggle butts to just SIT STILL is the hardest part! You know your pet better than I do. What gets their attention? For some, it’s a squeaky toy. For others, it’s a noise you make, like a kissing or clicking sound. You can even bark or meow to catch them off guard. For most, it’s a yummy treat … heck, that gets my attention too! Did someone say “chocolate chip cookie”?
Okay, I’m back (now wiping tasty treat crumbs of the human variety from chin).
Now that you’ve got their attention, the hard part’s over! Just follow the five guidelines below when photographing your pet, and you’ll end up with a photo I can use to create a MASTERPIECE painting of your fur-baby … no matter what color their fur is!
Pro tip: for black fur, plenty of lighting is key.
5 Tips for a Portrait-Worthy Pet Photo
- Shoot from your pet’s eye level by sitting or lying on the floor. Try not to take the photo from above your pet. You might like the photo in the moment, but it’s not a great angle for a painting. Trust me on this.
- Use natural lighting, either outside or indoors in a room with lots of windows. Avoid using the flash—it will only wash out the colors.
- Get close to your pet, and focus on their eyes.
- Be patient. Have someone behind you attract your pet’s attention while you shoot, or hold a treat in your hand close to the camera lens. Try making a high-pitched tone or whistle to get your pet in an alert pose.
- Take lots of pictures! You never know which split-second will be pure photography gold.
As a general rule, the better your reference photo is, the better your pet portrait painting will be! So don’t skimp on the process. Follow the five tips above, and you’ll end up with a photo that totally captures your pet and all their personality.
Have questions? Click here to contact me!