top of page

Pet Portrait Commissions

All I need is a high resolution photo, or selection of photos and a 50% deposit to secure your agreed slot in my schedule. I would need to see and approve your photo material to ensure I am able to work from them.

Please see my Photo Tips for tips on selecting great photos for your portrait, many people find this really helpful.

1. Don't rush the process.

Sometimes it's just not the right time to take a good photo. The weather, your pet's mood can easily make it difficult. Just keep a camera on hand (and charged) or your phone camera for when the time is right. It's not always easy but try not to get frustrated, our loving pets easily pick up on our moods and we want to capture them at their beautiful best. Before you start, make sure you and your pet are happy and relaxed.

2. Ask a friend.

Call in reinforcements and ask a friend to either distract or play with your pet whilst you snap that perfect shot. Grabbing your pets attention whilst waving toys, treats, pulling faces all whilst holding a camera isn't the easiest task. Call in reinforcements, a problem shared is a problem halved as they say.

3. Use the best camera you have and get snap happy!

Most modern cameras have a pretty good resolution. Even the one on your phone could be perfect. Take a few shots as a tester with each one and choose the best quality you can find. Digital photos take up very little space so take as many as you want and select the best of the bunch. Pets are not always compliant when it comes to photos, fidgeting, licking themselves etc. so go crazy and choose your favourites.

4. Lights

This is actually quite an important part of the process. You might have the perfect photo but that lighting can hinder the quality. Natural light from outside works best but you can also try taking photos next to windows or in a conservatory. Try not to use your flash as it will often result in the dreaded devil eye reflection (red-eye) and it can bleach out the naturally beautiful colouring of your pet. Pets generally are uncomfortable with a flash and it can startle them.

5. Be still, get up close and snap at eye level.

The closer you are the more detail you are likely to capture and the higher the resolution of the image. Just don't get  too close, your pet might not like it and there is a possibility you could distort the face. Another tip would be being at eye level with your pet, this can sometimes provide a better portrait, less distortion of proportions and a more personal, friendly image ‘on your level’ so to speak. Minimise shaking by getting comfortable and snap away to your heart's content.

6. Have fun, give treats.

Don't make it hard by putting pressure on yourself. Your pet is a pleasure to enjoy, just have fun! There's nothing like a bit of bribery and treats are always a handy thing to have around and help make the process a little smoother, even when you're not taking photos. Toys can keep their attention and help them focus on one spot, so go on, go play with your pet. A happy pet makes for a great portrait.

7. Slow and steady.

In most cases with cats, a more relaxed environment can be a better approach. They can be startled quite easily and due to their more solitary nature are more… non compliant, shall we say. Remain calm, quiet and most of all relaxed. Cats have a sick sense for when you want a certain thing and tend to do the total opposite. So just take your time and reap the rewards of your serenity.

Pets that have passed away.

If you are looking at commissioning a portrait of a pet that has sadly passed away I understand you may have limited photos available, but please don't worry - send me as many photos as you can and we can work through them together. I will need to see photos of pets that have passed before I accept your commission, so I can check I can work from your photos.

Multiple pets

A common mistake thought for multiple pet portraits is that you have to have your pets in the same photo. This is NOT TRUE - in fact it is always best if you can send separate photos of each pet and I will lay them out nicely in your portrait together.

Here for advice.

Don't worry I am always happy to help and give you the very best advice that I can. I will always review and discuss your photos with you when ordering a commission. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need any more help, or if you wish to ask any questions. Feel free to send me as many photos as you like, with no obligation at all - my advice is always free.

bottom of page