Taking Your Own Photo’s
Get close to the subject: Fill the photograph with their head & shoulders. Use a zoom lens to get close or stand 2 to 3 feet from the subject if your camera will focus that close. Take a close photograph of each person separately. I can draw them together.
Use natural lighting: Take your subject outside if possible. Flash photography that is too close can wash out the features of your subject's face. Have the subject sit sideways to the sun. Back lighting will cause the face to be in shadow. Front lighting will cause the subject to squint. Use flash outdoors if lighting is poor.
Use contrasting background: If the subject is dark, place them in front of a white background. If the subject is light, place them in front of a dark background.
Clearly focus your subject: I can draw only what I see. If the subject is out of focus it will be difficult to draw a close likeness. I may reject the commission if the photos are inadequate.
Get down to the level of your subject: If you are photographing small children or pets raise them to your level or get down on your knees to their level.
Pet Tips: You may need an assistant to help keep the subject still and looking at the camera. Have some one hold the animal with a leash or physically hold them. The photographer should have treats and toys to get the attention of the pet. Treats work the best. Only the photographer should make noises or talk to the pet. Take several pictures at as many angles. For a head shot photograph from the chest up. On a full body shot get as close to the dog as possible and be sure to get down to their level. Keep the background of the picture as simple as possible. Make sure your assistant’s hands are not covering the chest or the head.
Give your pet treats periodically and pet them to keep them calm. Make sure your pet is still when taking the picture or it will be out of focus. It can help if you have a third person assisting who can stand behind the photographer to attract attention of the pet while standing behind the photographer.
Use a good camera: A good 35 mm camera will work best. If your camera does not take good photographs you may need another camera or to hire a professional. The quality of the photograph effects the quality of the drawing. You will want to provide the best photographs you can.
Take many poses: Take 25-30 shots of each subject in various poses and different lighting. The more choices you have the better your chances of getting one satisfactory photograph. E-mail me your photographs for approval if you are not sure they will make a good portrait. Delete the worst and send the best.