Taking natural looking photographs
Try to take photographs outside, as natural light is best and avoids using an indoor flash. Also, do not take pictures in bright sunlight as this creates dark shadows, and direct sunlight reflects too much off the shiny coat of the animal. A slightly overcast day is usually best. Make sure your pet is as big as possible in the photograph. The better the quality of the photograph showing any characteristic details, the better the end result portrait will be.
If you are supplying some photograph reference, then here are some tips for the best possible portrait result:
- Photograph outside (avoid indoor flash). If it's a sunny day, make sure the sun is behind you to the left or right, if possible.
- Your pet should fill the photograph as much as possible.
- A 3/4 head shot is better than having a straight on photo for most breeds, as this stops the noses looking too flat and gives dimension to the face. Try to get down at the animals eye level (of great importance for portraits).
- If you are using a digital camera, make sure the resolution is good quality (2 million pixels and above). Photos taken on phones are not often good enough when blown up to print off. There is often a "lag" from pressing the shutter button on a digital camera to when the photograph is taken. You will have to allow for this.
- To get an animal to look in the right direction, try getting someone else to distract him / her with toys or food while you take the photo.
Although this picture was taken indoors, it was in a conservatory, with good light on a sunny day. It is very important not to use a flash. Ideally it is best not to have the animal facing straight towards the camera, but at a slight angle.
This picture was taken in the afternoon, when the shadows are not too strong. It is a nice clear shot of the head, showing all the details.
This is a good shot of a horse. The head is at a slight angle to the camera, not straight on, as this can make the horse's nose look too long. Please remove the head collar for a better picture, so that I can see all the details, unless of course you want it to be in the portrait!
Black dogs are very difficult to photograph so it is a good idea to take the photo on a slightly overcast day to avoid dark shadows and too much glare off the coat.