How to Submit an Awesome Photo

Photos should be clear and well-lit. Remember, I’m not familiar with the pet that I’m painting. I can only rely on your photos to create a portrait, so if the photo doesn’t clearly display fur markings, eye color, distinguishing features, etc., then they won’t be part of the portrait.

Photos should:

  • Be clear and show details
  • Be taken in bright, natural light–outdoors or near a bright window or glass door
  • Show the pet’s entire head, ears, neck and chest
  • Be unedited and unfiltered
  • Be taken at the pet’s eye level


  • Blurry, unfocused or grainy photos. Pictures that are not a high resolution will result in loss of important details.
  • Using a camera flash, taking photos in indoor lighting or in low-lit areas. These issues will alter the natural color of your pet and will result in lower quality photos that may not be usable.
  • Photos that are zoomed in or cropped to eliminate parts of the pet’s face or ears. If you can’t outline the pet’s entire head, ears and neck, the photo is too zoomed in.

  • Pictures where objects or people are obscuring part of the pet’s face or neck.
  • Photos that have been edited or had filters applied to them. These usually alter the color and lighting of photos, hiding details and changing a pet’s natural fur/eye color.
  • Bird’s eye photos. Pictures taken from above result in your pet looking up, which can sometimes create an unnatural “floating head” phenomenon or can make your pet look like s/he is cowering. The best and most engaging portraits are based on photos that are taken at the pet’s eye level. (That means you might have to kneel or sit to get the picture.)


  • If the pet has passed away, I understand that you have limited photos and I will do whatever I can to work with you for a successful portrait.
  • If you’re surprising someone, I understand that you may be selecting pictures from social media and will try to help locate the best photo possible.