Think about where you stand when you look in a mirror

If you only need to glance at yourself in the mirror to check everything is ok, you can do it from the other side of the room. But when you want to look more closely, brush your hair, or put on makeup, then you get as close as you can to the mirror, so that you can see clearly and in detail.

When I do a portrait of your pet, I need as much detail as possible. This means that when you take a photo you need to get really close up to your pet to get a good picture, just like when you look in a mirror to see something clearly.

Light is really important

When you look at a dark shadow in a photograph, you can’t see much detail. The most important part of a portrait is the face, and the most important part of the face are the eyes. The eyes are where you find the life in the drawing, and where I can put the most expression and emotion. But because of the shape of the head, especially in dogs, the eyes are where you find the deepest shadows. Special attention should be taken when taking photos to avoid shadows on the face.

Ideally the light should be coming over one of your shoulders, and should not be coming from behind the subject.

Here are some other things to consider when taking a photo.

1. Use a good camera

Anything over around 8MP is normally fine, this includes most smartphones. 

2. Shoot in natural daylight

This will help create a crisp photo in true, natural colours.
Try to keep the sun behind the camera

3. Avoid using Flash

Again, natural light is best. A Flash is bright and can be unnerving and can make you pet nervous and hide.
Also, the light from a flash is harsh, and will produce a picture with ‘washed out’ colours.

4. No blurred Pictures

I can only work with sharp, crisp photos. If you are finding it difficult to keep your camera steady then rest it on a chair or something similar.

5. Shoot with the camera at your pet’s eye level

This helps to create a photograph where everything looks in proportion. 
In your pet’s quiet moments, after eating or bedtime for example, move in close for some dramatic and expressive pictures.

6. Get down to your pet’s level

By getting onto the floor, at the same level as your pet, you will help to create a dramatic, yet natural, picture.

7. Take plenty

While you have your pet’s attention, take plenty of photos and choose your favourite. 

And the last thing is when your taking the photos, have fun with your pet. It can be fustrating if they do not get in the right pose or don’t do what you want them to do and do the exact opposite. You don’t have to get your photos all in one go. You most probably have your mobile phone with you all the time, so you always have a camera at hand. Your pet will always scence your emotions and will respond to them. So if you are happy and calm, your pet most probably will be as well.