Pet Photography Tips for Portraits

Many of my clients have a favourite photo in mind when they contact me to enquire about a portrait and nowadays more often than not, that photo tends to be on a smartphone. Your camera phone is a brilliant tool for capturing instant, playful images that can work perfectly as a drawing.

I tend to use my digital SLR camera if I’m asked to take photos for clients, so I thought I would list a few of my top tips here to help you take better photos of your pets. The principles are very much the same for your smart phone camera so I hope you find them helpful.

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Pet Portrait – Bailey

I really enjoy drawing people’s dogs. The whole process: From the initial contact of someone asking me, to the photos they send. From my emails showing the development stages of my drawing, to the wrapping and posting and the anticipation of the client receiving it.

I put a lot of work in, and I care about what I do. I use acid free pastel paper, tape and mount-board and artist quality materials. I use about 20 colours in soft pastels and pastel pencils. It can take between 10 and 20 hours to create a portrait. During which time I drink tea and sing to the radio in my studio and delight in having the opportunity to create something special for someone.

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Baking and Making

Last week in my Drawing Group I wanted to look at drawing ‘Self-Portraits’. It’s a challenging subject so I decided to make a ‘Gin and Lime’ cake to sweeten the deal for the class.

I’m not a cake-maker or baker (or good cook if I’m brutally honest). But I had a go. And the art group rewarded me by a) eating the cake and b) having a go themselves, at the task of drawing their portraits.

And that’s when it struck me: Baking is a bit like Drawing.

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