PET PORTRAITS & WILDLIFE ART
shepherd.joanne@rocketmail.com | 07713498633
JO SHEPHERD
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CHOOSING OR TAKING THE PERFECT PHOTOGRAPH FOR THE PERFECT
PORTRAIT
 
 

 
 
 
On this page you will find some useful hints and tips on how to take
the perfect photograph that captures the character and personality
of your pet. You will also find tips on when and where to take your
photographs to capture the best lighting and sharpness to your
photos. The better the quality of your photographs, the more
detail I can put into your portrait.
 
 
LIGHTING


  
Where possible take your photographs outdoors in natural light.
Below are some example photographs of a golden red labrador taken in
different lights.
 
SEE BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION


 
  
       

 
1. Photograph taken indoors with a lamp/light turned on
As you can see from the photograph using artificial lighting 
indoors creates a yellowish glow and makes it hard to portray
the true colours of your pet.  

2. Photograph taken indoors by a window letting in natural light
As you can see from this photograph the colouring is slightly improved
by using natural light rather than artificial. However, the image is still
quite dark and the eyes aren't very bright. It is definitely better for true
colour than photograph number one but still not the best.

3. Photograph taken outside in natural light
This photograph was taken outdoors in bright weather. As you can
see, compared to the first two photographs, the quality of the image
is much sharper and this is of the upmost importance when creating
a pet portrait.



 
COMPOSITION
 
 
Choosing the best composition for your portrait is generally down to
your personal preference and what you want from your portrait,
but below you will find a few useful hints and tips to help you choose
or take the perfect photo.



BAD EXAMPLES

   

 
1. Looking down: If your pet is looking down it is hard to capture
their character through their eyes. The best photos are when your
pet looks alert and engaged and you can clearly see their eyes.

2. Far Away: For a head portrait it is best to take a close up
photograph so you can really capture all your pets details in
their face, after all this is what makes up their character.
Although you could zoom into this photograph and crop it you
will find that you lose the definition of detail, for example the 
sharpness of the eyes. Your photograph will be much better if
you take it close up.
 

GOOD EXAMPLES

       
 
 
 1. A profile (side on) photograph of your pet usually creates a
more interesting composition than a straight on photograph,
but it really is down to your personal preference.
 
2. A compromise between a straight on photograph and a profile
photograph, this half profile photograph has a lot of character 
and also captures both eyes which you lose in a full side profile.


 

3. Photograph three is not a typical pose for a traditional pet portrait
but if your looking for something fun and modern this composition
would work really well.




 
 
The above photo was taken by myself for a commission and is an
example of a great quality photo. The photo was taken outdoors in
natural light. The day was slightly overcast so it wasn't TOO bright.

Diesel was very excitable which made it hard to take a photo. To
capture the best shot we used a treat to capture and hold his
attention long enough to get some good shots.

Using a treat captures some personality in the photograph, i.e in this
image of diesel his ears are pricked up perfectly and he is very
present. The other key importance of taking photos outdoors is that
you capture light in the eyes, creating beautiful reflections that
really give life to your portrait.
 
 

HINTS AND TIPS
 
IF YOUR HAVING TROUBLE KEEPING YOUR PETS ATTENTION FOR A PHOTOGRAPH USE A
TASTY TREAT AS I DID WITH MY MODEL HUNTER.


A NICE PIECE OF HAM DID THE TRICK WONDERFULLY!


TO CAPTURE SOME CHARACTER AND ENGAGE YOUR PET (WORKS BEST WITH DOGS) TRY SAYING
SOME WORDS THAT SPARK THEIR ATTENTION SUCH AS:
 
"WALKIES!!!"
 
"CATS!!!"
 
"WHAT'S THAT?!!!"



FOR MORE HELP AND ADVICE ON CHOOSING/TAKING THE PERFECT PHOTOGRAPHS FOR YOUR
PORTRAITS PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO GET IN TOUCH