How to Choose Portrait Photos
A good photograph is not always a good reference photo for a portrait. Since I paint most portraits without meeting my subjects face-to-face, I need large, accurate photos that convey as much information as possible.
Send clear, uncropped digital photos in the highest file quality you have. Send at least one photo showing your subject in the exact pose you’d like in the painting, and include a few other reference photos if you can. Action poses usually don’t work well for portraits, but if you have one that you particularly like, you can always have me look at it to see if it will work.
Bright, even outdoor lighting is best. Avoid dappled sunlight, overexposed or underexposed lighting conditions. Pictures taken on a cloudy day often work well.
Digital photos are preferred, but if you don’t have digital photos, you can send me hard copies in the mail after you place your order. I always return original photos with the completed portrait, but I recommend that you keep copies just in case.
If you want a special background or additional subjects in the portrait, you can submit extra photos with instructions on how you’d like them combined. If you want two pets in one portrait and are submitting separate photos for each, make sure there is at least one photo of them together (even if it’s not in the pose you want) so I can see their relative sizes.
Other things to consider
Do you want a classic serious pose, or a fun informal pose?
Do you want a close-up portrait that focuses on your subject, or do you want the subject to be a smaller part of a scene or landscape?
What features are most distinctive about this person or animal?
What age do you want your subject portrayed as?
For dogs: If your dog wears a collar or bandana, do you want it to be included?
Above all, it's most important to choose a photo that shows your subject’s features clearly, in a pose that captures their unique personality.