photography guide

When creating your pet portrait Charlotte strives to produce a high quality piece of artwork that accurately captures the appearance and personality of your pet. A good photograph of your pet is therefore key to the artistic process and in order to guarantee your full satisfaction with your commission piece. Unfortunately Charlotte cannot work from photographs of poor quality but she is here to help you every step of the way. Please find below a guide to help you create an excellent reference photograph. If you have any questions at all or are struggling to choose your reference photograph, please do not hesitate to contact her. She is always happy to help and provide as much advice as you need. ​



Charlotte cannot emphasise enough the importance for a good quality photograph. In order to achieve a high level of detail she requires images that are detailed, accurate and in focus. Although she understands that phone cameras are very convenient, she highly recommends using a camera as they are generally superior at capturing light, colour and detail.



When photographing your pet, focus on their eyes and expression and think about how you would like to portray their personality. A lot of this can be conveyed through a photograph that captures their facial expressions. Every pet is different and so it is important to consider the behaviour that best represents their character, and the appropriate environment for your pet too. This could be your pet sitting outside alert to their surroundings, playing with their favourite toy, or waiting patiently for a treat. Ultimately this is down to your personal preference and your relationship with your pet.


If it is possible, try to take the photographs at eye level with your pet. This helps to create natural, flattering images that are in good proportion. 


Charlotte recommends poses where your pet is either looking straight at you or looking to the side. 


Please make sure that the photographs you provide accurately show the coloration of your pet's fur and eyes. It is also really helpful if the direction of their fur is visible and and their nose is in focus, too. This can be achieved by taking close-up photographs of your pet in natural lighting. Charlotte advises taking your photographs outdoors and finds that the best lighting is on a bright but overcast day, early morning or early evening. Photographs taken in direct sunlight can create strong, unflattering contrasts, and your pet will most likely be squinting! Please do not use flash. It not only causes problems such as red-eyes, unnatural shadows and discolouration, but it may also frighten your pet and prevent them from relaxing.  


Please send your photographs in their original format, for example not cropped or edited, as this can decrease the size and resolution of the image. 


If you wish to commission a portrait of multiple pets please note that it is not necessary to capture your pets all in the same photograph. With the right selection of photographs it is often better to capture individual images, following the above guidelines, and Charlotte will then draw them all together for you. If possible it is helpful to have a photograph of the pets together in order to understand their proportions to each other, however this is not essential.