Photo Tips - When Selecting Photos for A Portrait

The photographs I receive and use as references for my artwork is the absolutely most significant part of the painting process.

Since I work from photos, the completed portrait depends on the quality of the photos you send me. The portraits I create shows true characteristics and personality of the individual pet or person.

The Photo is key, so please provide with the best photos you have, try to send as many photos as possible.

Visit my article about Photographing Pets if you are thinking about taking new photos.

Photo suitable for a portrait

Analog or Digital Cameras

These days it's easier to photograph then it used to be. The reason for this are the increasingly popular Digital Cameras which most of us have accessible and bring along everywhere we go.

Obviously most of the mobile phones have a camera which we use in a hurry before the so rare moment forever disappears. But still, many memories remain in the old photos, photo albums we cherish which were taken by the analog cameras.

Even though I prefer big sized digital photos to work from, you can still send me a photo taken by an Analog camera. However, the paper-based photographs must be sent to my Studio since I scan them into high-resolution images.

You will get the original photo back with the completed painting.

Photo Size

Digital Photos

Send me the biggest sized photos possible. Original sized images, downloaded directly from the camera are preferred. If you however don't have the original images, make sure they are big enough by sending them to me.

Regular Photos

Photos taken by analog cameras can vary. There were standard sizes for those when taken for processing at the photo shop. Send them as they are or if you happen to still have the negatives, get them processed into bigger images before you send them to me.

Sharp & Clear Photos

The most significant part of a good photo is sharpness. I need to see both details and accurate colors in order to create a good portrait. The photos must be clear of dark shadows which would make parts of the per or person invisible.

In short - I can't paint something I can't see.

Subject Positioning

Send me photos where your subject is filling the entire frame, but without cropping parts which you want included the portrait. A photo with the subject too far away on the photo scenery probably won't make a clear and sharp subject.

Choose photos which are photographed from the individual's level. Photos taken when looking down at the subject doesn't make a photo suitable for a portrait with an exception for portraits in a bold, painterly style.

Natural Lighting

Whenever it's possible, choose a photo taken outside with Natural Lighting. Avoid photos with strong sunlight or too dark shadows which would make the subject's colors fade away.

If the photo was taken indoors, choose a photo with lights coming from natural sources, like a window.

Several Subjects & Backgrounds

Several subjects

You don't need to provide with photos contained all subjects that will be portrayed.


Whenever it's possible, provide with a photo which includes your favorite background scenery. If that's not possible, I can provide with a photo suitable for the background.

Copyrighted Photos

If your favorite photos are photographed by someone else or even a professional photographer, make sure to ask them for permission to use the photo as reference for your portrait.

Let them know that the painted portrait will be used for personal use.