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Pet Photography Tips


To order your custom watercolor Pet Portrait by Phyllis please click here.

Phyllis' pet portraits are custom pieces painted from photos supplied by our customers, the photos do not need to be professionally composed, cropped or lit.  To create a successful portrait, I need is a well-lit photograph, IN FOCUS, that shows your pet's markings and coloring. Natural light works best – but you can use a flash to help create additional highlights on a black pet.

Clear and close-up are the key things to remember. If your pet has some specific marking that makes them unique, make sure you mention it in your contact e-mail and that it shows in the photo the way you’d like it to.

It is always best of you take the photograph at the eye level of your pet, sit down in front of your dog when they are relaxed, and happy.  Photographs with your pet looking directly at the camera make great portraits, although shots of your dog looking up adoringly at you can work well, too.  The eyes are very so important – please make sure they are visible!

Have a friend or family member help you. Your assistant can do the dog wrangling, and you can snap the picture when the pose is right. The sound of a crinkling cellophane wrapper will often get your dog to prick up his/her ears and a treat will really help them focus on you.  You can have your assistant hold the treat over your head to make them look at you. 

I can correct minor photographic problems, for instance, fix an improperly flopped ear, remove a bandana, or work around flash-reflective eyes.  It's difficult to create a great portrait from a shot that is blurry or deeply shadowed.

Finally, I prefer to have several images of your pet to get his personality, so please send me as many as you can, but make sure that you have at least one with really clear eyes and one in the position that you wish for your pet to be painted.