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Image Guidelines, Examples, and Tips

The most important part of your order is the quality of the image you upload. The quality of the image you upload directly affects your final portrait.

General Rules for a good photo of your pet:

1.) Take photo in a well lit area. Ideally without a filter and in natural lighting.

2.) Close up and head on. This will allow us to see the details of your pets face. 

3.) Avoid overhead, blurry or dark photos.

4.) *Before you send: Check for Details! If you can't see details in the eyes or nose of your pet the artist working on your portrait will not be able to see those either. 

We do many portraits of pets that have passed away, so we understand it's not always possible to follow all of the guidelines above. In those situations we will do everything we can to make the photos you have available work.

If you have questions about the images you would like to use for your portrait, please email your images to us, and we can help determine which images will work best.

Below are some examples of good photos and some quick photo tips to capture the best images for a portrait. 

Dog PhotosCat Photos


  • Outside light is probably the best way to capture a great photo of your pet.

  • It is best to photograph your pet a few hours after sunrise or a few hours before sunset. This way, the sun is not directly above, in front of, or behind your pet.

  • Taking your photo outside on a cloudy or overcast day will give you a better image than shooting in direct sunlight. 

  • Shooting your photo in the shade outside can also give you a clear shot so long as both you and your pet are both in the shade without the sun hitting your camera.


  • Next to a window during the day or beside a bright lamp are good ways to light your black cat or dog. 

  • Avoid using a flash. This can flatten out your pet’s features, and  create that dreaded glowing eyes effect.

  • Avoid having a bright light behind your pet. This can be a window directly behind your pet with direct sunlight. or if the light or bright lamp at night behind your pet is creating any kind of silhouette. This can make your pet's features will be dark and indistinguishable. Turn your pet facing that light rather than the other way around.



  • Try to fill up the frame more with your pet than with the background. Show fine details on the face like the beautiful furry coat, whiskers and nose. Capture the shape of the ears, give the eyes a real good and sharp focus. Let them become the focal point of the photo.

  • Get down to their level, rather than shooting from above.


  • Shoot against a plain or uncluttered background. 

  • Strong, direct light can sometimes wash out your black furry subject, so diffused lighting is best.

  • Lighting from an angle is always best. Something to show off the definition of your pets features.

  • You know your pet better than anyone, and you know their personality. Try to capture that by taking the photo someplace they are comfortable and can be themselves with you.

  • Treats… Use treats to keep your pet’s attention while you are shooting. You can direct where they look, and get the best part of their personality to shine through.