Capture the Personality
of your Best Friend in a
Lifelike Color Pastel Portrait

Photography Tips

               The better the photos - the better the portrait.

My portrait will only be as good a the quality of the photograph(s) you provide.  If your photos are blurry, if the pet is too small or far away, or if you use a flash (causing red-eye & distorted colors)- my portrait will be part guesswork.

Below are some simple, yet effective, tips which I've found can give the best results capturing your pet's personality in a photograph.



It is helpful to have someone assist you in photographing your pet. The assistant can help hold a fidgety pet in postition or capture their attention with treats,toys or noises. It is extremely difficult to do all this by yourself while taking a photo, unless you are extremely patient, have a very cooperative pet and a digital camera or plenty of film. If these pictures are solely for the portrait, then hands and arms in the frame do not matter and are easily removed - as long as they do not cover important markings.



The best possible lighting is natural outdoor light - bright shade, hazy sunshine or overcast daylight is best. If your pet is an indoor only pet - try a leash outdoors or position them inside near a window, glass sliding doors or in an enclosed porch area. Avoid direct sunlight, as this can alter or wash out natural coloring (EXCEPT if your pet is black or very dark brown - in which case direct sunlight may help enhance their shading & texture.)


NEVER USE A FLASH if you want to capture the true color and shading of your pet. Flashes not only distort fur colors but also cause red-eye making it impossible to capture the true detail and depth of their eyes.



Get on the same level as your pet, if possible, unless you want the portrait of your pet looking up at you or down at you. Sit or lie on the ground if necessary. Capture a photo of your pet when they are relaxed & comfortable.


Use a zoom lens to concentrate on the face without being too intrusive. A three quarters view is often more interesting than side view or straight on shot. When taking a head shot photo - have their face fill the photo frame (but be sure to keep photo in focus).



Get your pet's attention by saying something your pet understands, making a sudden noise, offering food, throwing something or as a last resort walking off. (Dogs can be at their most alert at this point - cats don't usually care) A good idea is to have favorite treats or toys available. Hold them up near the camera to catch (and hopefully hold) interest in the right direction. Most importantly, don't be afraid to be silly. Try making funny and unusual noises or movements to get their attention


Capture the most characteristic expression of your pet. If they are generally happy, try to catch them doing their version of a smile



Please feel to send as many photos as you wish. Please number the photos and make comments about which photo/expression you prefer, which has true coloring, etc. All photos will be returned to you.


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