How to choose/take a photo of your pet

If you’re thinking about ordering or have ordered a pet portrait then you’ll want to choose the best photo possible for me to use. To help you I’ve created this little guide so you can select the best possible one.

Choose a photo that best represents your furry friend

I paint directly from the photo, what I aim to achieve is a painting that looks as close to the photo as I can possibly get it. (Now I am a newbie with this and i’m not into photorealism so please don’t expect an exact replica.) never the less I will try my best. So if the photo doesn’t capture how you like to think of your pet then neither will the painting.



Basically all a painting is the placing of dark paint where I see shadow and the placing of light paint where I see highlight. Colours change in different lighting so if you have a photo of your dog in a dark room theres a chance his colour looks a lot darker than it does in real life. This works the same for yellow lighting. For this reason it is best to choose a photo you think best represents their coat and colour, usually best in natural day light.

Detail and focus

The more detail in a photo the more detail I can paint. I love to paint eyes, I think they make a painting come to life and really capture the pet so the clearer the eyes the better.


It is entirely up to you the position of your pet in the photo, some like an angle from above which makes the painting look as if the dog is looking up at you, Just try and envisage the photo with all the background removed, that should give you an indication of how the painting will look. Try and avoid photos where your pet is leaning their face against the sofa or an object of some kind as once this object is removed their face is going to look pretty weird. I can imagine things to a certain extent but you are much less likely to get a likeness in the painting and I am much less likely to be happy with it enough to send it to you and charge you.


Two dogs

If you’ve got two dogs and want them put into a painting, it makes my life so much less stressful and you are much more likely to get a decent painting If they are both in the same photo, however I know from owning two dogs myself that getting them both to look nice and say cheese at the same time isn’t all that easy. I can paint one dog from one photo and another dog from another photo however the following would be so helpful…

  1. Both photos taken at the same time in the same light, Don’t have one in day light and the other in artificial light.

  2. A photo of them together so I can get an idea of the scale of one compared to the other.

  3. Photos at the same angle. I can paint looking down at one pet and paint looking forwards at the other but it’s going to look pretty weird.

I hope this was helpfull, however, if you’re still unsure you can always send me some photos and I’ll help you choose.

Written with love

Old Mother Hubbard