top of page
  • Writer's pictureAmy Elizabeth Fine Art

Pet Portraits from Photos UK- How to Commission a Pet Portrait using photos of your pet

If you are thinking about commissioning pet portraits from photos, it can seem a little daunting. Here I break down the steps of what happens after you commission a portrait of your pet.

Pet Portraits from Photos- The Photo

First things first, we need a photo to work from. Typically, a photo taken specifically for the portrait works best. There are a couple of reasons for this. When creating a pet portrait from photos, they need to be clear, highly detailed, in good lighting and in the position you want them drawing in.

So, how do you take a photo for a pet portrait. I have a step by step guide with photos you can read HERE.

Below is the condensed version.


Your first step is to go outside with your pet. This allows the photo to be taken in natural bright lighting, rather than being too dark or using artificial flash. If you cannot go outside, position yourself near a large window, with your pet facing the light and you with your back to it.


A good angle is the next thing to think about. You ideally want to get down on the same level as your pet, do this by either crouching or lying down on the ground. If this is not possible you can bring your pet up higher by putting them on a chair or table. This means you can see your pets face clearly and see their eyes. From this level, it is far easier to get a nice angle with a clear view of their face.


Once you are at the right level, the next aspect is the angle that your pet is positioned at. This involves a bit of bribery. The best way to get your pet to look in exactly the direction you want is to use a treat. Hold the treat in your hand and wave your hand in the area where you want them to be looking.


You want your subject to fill the frame of the photograph. Therefore if you are wanting a head portrait, just take a photo of the head, and if you want a portrait of the full-body just include that too. You need to be stood close to your pet.

Pet Portraits from Photos- Some Examples

As you can see these are all lovely photos. They are in a composition that their owners were happy with, lovely and clear, with a good sense of light. You can se how getting down to your pets level creates a pleasing angle, rather than being stood above them.

Pet Portraits from Photos - What Next?

Once you've got your photos you need to send them over to me "full size" via email. Between us, we can work out the best size and composition to best suit the photos you have taken.

Both the border terrier portrait and the border collie portrait ended up being square portraits and the black labrador made a lovely large 12x16 inch head and next portrait. The better your photos the more possibilities there are.

As for the background, there is lots of choice there too. You can pick out some colours in the background from the photo or go for something completely different. When commissioning a pet portrait from photos, there is no end to the possibilities, with different sizes, colours and papers to choose from. I will spend time to ensure we create something you love.

I do hope this has helped in explaining the process when commissioning a pet portrait from photos. It really does pay off to spend time taking the perfect photo for your pet portrait. If you sign up to my email list I send you a free PDF eBook on pet photography. I am hugely passionate in giving people the skills they need to take high quality photos of their pet. Not only does it make my life as a pet portrait artist easier, it also means that you then have the skills to properly record your pets lives, so you have lots of photos to remember their short times with us.

You can see some of my pastel pet portraits from photos by clicking HERE.

Pet portraits from Photos UK - Schnauzer portrait


bottom of page