Your photo is the most important part.
It would be great if every reference photo was a professional, well-lit, in-focus masterpiece, but the reality is that many of us only have candid snapshots of our pets. It can be difficult to find a good photo, particularly with deceased pets who may only have one or two photos that will work. Provide the best photo(s) you have of your pet, keeping in mind these tips:
- Make sure your photo clearly shows their head/neck with nothing touching or blocking your pet (remove the collar if possible).
- Avoid using filters or editing the photo for contrast/brightness/etc.
- Make sure it's well-lit, but try to avoid over/underexposure. In shade on a bright day or near a sunny window works well.
- Don't forget to showcase their personality! Derpy smiles, head tilts, and goofy expressions make for great pet portraits.
Remember: the better the photograph, the better the painting. I'll let you know if the photograph isn't sufficient for a portrait, but in most cases, it will work just fine. If you have any questions about using a certain photograph, just let me know in your contact form.