The better the reference pitcure, the better the portrait.


The key to the perfect portrait is beginning with the perfect reference. The better you adhere to these standards; the more satisfied you will be with your pet portrait. Below are the do's and the do not's of reference picking. Feel free to contact us for extra help if you need.

Get on the same level as your pet. Crouch down so that you can hold your camera straight to get your whole pet in the image. Try not to stand above them or take the picture from an angle

Take lots of pictures! If you are unsure which picture to use, you can always send us a few of your favorites and our artists will be happy to help you pick the best one!

Use treats or a helper to encourage your pet to sit still and look in the direction you want them to.

Have fun with it! Make sure it is a good experience for the both of you!


Get on their level. Crouch down so that you can hold the camera straight.

Bright and Beautiful! Good lighting is crucial to a painting. The best place to get good lighting is outside or near natural lighting. 

Get the whole picture! If you want a full body portrait, the artist needs to be able to see your whole pet. 

Stand at the right distance while taking a picture. Stand close enough to see all detail; but not so close that the picture seems distorted.

If you want multiple subjects in one picture, it is best to get get both pets in the same shot if you can.


Don't Stand Above your pet or angle your camera. A birds eye view can make a nice photo, but it doesn't make a great painting.

Don't use flash  and avoid taking pictures in lower lighting or rooms without windows. Not only does it hide detail, but it can make your pet look like a slightly different colour!

Don't crop  off anything you want included in your portrait. The tip of an ear is fine, a whole leg is harder to create. Remember  that large objects in the foreground can cover your pet up just as much as cropping.

Don't get too close! Your camera will distort your pet's gorgeous face!

Don't stand too far  away while taking the picture.

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