Taking or Choosing a Reference

A great quality photo helps to ensure a great quality portrait. It will enable me to add a high level of detail and ensure a great likeness. 

You don't necessarily need fancy equipment to take your photo, many smart phones nowadays have great quality cameras, just follow a few simple tips to help you capture a good reference.


Take the photo with good, natural light. Outside or near a window is ideal (not so bright your subject is squinting!)


Avoid using flash so that the true colours are captured.


Get down to the eye level of whomever you are photographing. Unusual angles can sometimes cause distortions which may look odd in the portrait so are best avoided. Unless of course that unusual angle captures the personality of the subject


In the case of very small children and pets, try to set things up and then just before you take the photo make a noise to get their attention. 


Ensure everything you want included in the portrait is in the photo- no missing ears etc!


Try to capture the personality of the subject. For example if you have a cheeky, happy doggy make sure he looks it in the photo


If you're unsure, take lots! You can always send me multiple pictures and we can work together to get the right one. 


If you have more than one subject and you're struggling to get them both looking fab in the same photo take them separately and I can combine them. Keep this in mind when thinking about poses!

I understand that in some cases photo choice may be limited, particularly if you are commissioning a memorial piece. If you aren't sure if your reference photos will work please get in touch and we can work together to talk through your options.

Poor References

Blurry, poor lighting and lack of details make these references hard to work from. Some less than optimum photos can still be used so do get in touch if you are unsure

poor ref dog.jpg

Good References

Good lighting, showing clear details make these photos great to work from and show off the subjects to their best. I can combine photos for more than one subject. 

pug good reference.jpg