Choosing Photos For Commissions

A clear and good quality photo is essential, I can only paint what I can see on the photo provided, so the better the photo quality, the easier it is for me to produce a lovely portrait. Please remember that I don’t know your pet and only have photos to work from. If you are close to Salisbury I would be happy to come and meet and photograph your pet.
The main features for a stunning portrait are the eyes, so they should be clearly visible in images.
The photo should be clear and in focus. A natural light source on the pet’s face shows up detail and colour better than photos taken using a flash. Ideally, take the photos outside rather than indoors.

Be aware that too much sunshine can flatten detail and alter colour such as with this photo of Woody.

The larger the photo size you have, the better. The angle of the head doesn’t matter, but do try and take a picture from their level rather than looking down. I like to paint a dog without its collar if possible.

Please feel free to send additional images to better illustrate coat or eye colour if necessary.

If the photos are for a multiple portrait please ensure, if possible, that you provide a photo of the animals side by side to gauge sizes.

Sometimes, a commission is of a pet which is sadly no longer with us. In such a case I will do what I can and this is where several pictures as well as the one for the painting are of great benefit. 

For my brother’s 50th, I wanted to paint a very special portrait, one of his current dog Alfie and his former much loved hound Sam, who died over 15 years ago. Photography really has progressed, I struggled to find a good quality photo of Sam. ( Alfie wasn’t a problem as my brother is a keen and talented photographer- hard to find one of him without his tongue lolling out though.) You see the problem. In the end I went for the one on the right, scanned it and zoomed in as much as possible.

The finished portrait.


Please feel free to send me the photos you have in mind for a portrait and I can give you some feedback- click here to get in touch.