How to take a good reference photo

The quality of the drawing is affected by the quality of the reference photograph/s provided.


There are a few key elements to taking that perfect reference photo of your pet. 

  1. Always take your photos in natural lighting

  2. Get onto the eye level of your pet

  3. The best poses are when the pet is sitting or standing

  4. Use a good quality digital camera

  5. Fill the entire frame, but avoid zooming in as this just reduces the image quality

  6. Please send the photographs in their original size (Facebook, Whatsapp and other programs often shrink picture files when sending or sharing them)

Examples of good reference photos

Both photographs have good lighting and a nice amount of detail when zoomed in (you can see individual hairs on their coats). The  Cat and the Dog are the focus of the photograph and fill the frame. Although the cat is not looking at the viewer, her eyes are bright and full of expression. The dog looking at the viewer is an ideal pose, despite being taken from slightly above his eye-level.

Penny Close

Examples of poor reference photos


Although both subjects are incredibly cute, they don't fill the frame and there is not enough detail to produce the best possible drawing. Both animals look slightly washed out and over exposed on their faces, which also lessens the detail. They would both make beautiful subjects if the photographs were taken closer and at their eye level.

Penny Far