Photo Tips


About your Reference Photos & Photo Tips

What I am looking for is ONE photo showing the pose you would like for your portrait. I can open eyes, adjust ears, change tack and colours, if that photo is not perfect. Other photos will help with markings, personality, true colour, & expression.

Here are some photo tips, to help you get “just the right shot” for your portrait. These are the 5 most important:

High resolution – The images will be printed and maybe enlarged to see detail, so the higher the resolution the better. Try for a minimum of 500MG or better. Anything too small with become pixelated or fuzzy once enlarged.

Close up – Have only that part you want in the viewfinder. Get close to your subject. For a head study of a horse, capture the withers, neck and head only. For a head study of a dog or cat- head, neck and chest only, sitting position is best.

Good lighting – Avoid shadows from trees, buildings or noon day sun. Have the lighting coming from behind the photographer shining onto your subject. A lightly overcast day is perfect as you will avoid shadowing and have softer features. Be aware of bright sun that may make the animal squint. Best time of day is early morning or later afternoon, when the sun is lower in the sky.

Eye Level – This is so very important to prevent distortion, especially for small animals including ponies. Elevate your dog or cat onto a deck or bench or get right down on the ground with them.

Angles – Take a look at all the angles through the viewfinder…..ask yourself, does my horse’s neck look too long or thin? Does my dog’s nose seem unusually long? Is their head too big for their body or vice versa?

Other tips:

Have 3 people, one to hold the animal, the photographer, and a person who gets the animal’s attention. Be cautious of using treats as they will be too focused on trying to get to those treats and not stay still!

For a multiple subject portrait, just take individual photo of each animal, and one for size reference. Don’t worry if that one is not perfect!

Above all don’t stress, have fun & get creative!!

If the animal is no longer with us, gather as many photos as you can, and we can discuss what will work.

When in doubt, please email the photos to me and I can let you know my thoughts!