Great reference photos make for great portraits!


    

    

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Good reference photos

  • the eyes are the most important part of any portrait, I need to be able to see them clearly
  • when I zoom in on the photo I should be able to see fine details like individual hairs
  • outdoor lighting best, preferably an overcast day
  • photos taken down at the pet's level are generally more visually appealing for a portrait, as opposed to those taken looking down onto the pet from above
  • the colour of the pet in the photo is true to what they look like in real life
  • choose a photo that represents your pet's personality best to you, if they are normally goofy don't choose a serious photo!

Bad reference photos

  • cannot clearly see the pet's eyes, camera flash can result in red or green eyes
  • too far away in the photo, this makes it difficult to see fine details when zoomed in
  • inconsistent lighting, creates odd shadows over the face
  • unflattering angle or pose
  • blurry
  • not the true colour of the pet
Unflattering angle for a portrait.        Lighting inconsistent, creating shadows.  Unable to clearly see eyes.

Unflattering angle for a portrait.      

Lighting inconsistent, creating shadows.

Unable to clearly see eyes.

Lighting source is behind the subjects creating odd shadows.                              Too far away, cannot see details.        Cannot see dogs' eyes clearly because they're squinting.

Lighting source is behind the subjects creating odd shadows.                            

Too far away, cannot see details.      

Cannot see dogs' eyes clearly because they're squinting.

Too far away, cannot see details when zoomed in.                                                      Entire face is in shadow.

Too far away, cannot see details when zoomed in.                                                    

Entire face is in shadow.

Too darkly lit, and half of her face is in shadow.                                                     Not high enough resolution, unable to zoom in and see details.                                  Colour is not true.

Too darkly lit, and half of her face is in shadow.                                                   

Not high enough resolution, unable to zoom in and see details.                                

Colour is not true.