"The quality of my work is very dependant upon the clarity of your photographs!"

Here are a few tips, that I have picked up along the way, to save time and ensure that you get the best possible portrait:

• Digital images emailed to me are the best to work with, and as large as you like. Only send two or three images in an email, as they take along time to receive otherwise. I don’t mind how many emails you send to me of images, the more the merrier!

• If you have to send me photographs by 'snail mail' I recommend you send copies, just in case they are lost in the post. Once the portrait is finished I will send them back with registered mail.

• Where possible take your photographs on a bright day outside.

• Avoid direct sunlight or using a flash, as this will not give a true indication of your pet's colouring and the latter tends to cause 'red eye'.

• Focus on his or her head as closely as you can, without blurring the image. Your pet's eyes are VERY important to the portrait, so I need them to be as clear as possible.

• Take photographs from several angles and different poses and include at least one photograph of the pose you wish in the portrait.

• Try to be on the same level or slightly lower, than your pet, if you wish a traditional type of portrait.

• If, like me, you have a pet that will not stand or sit still, you will need to have someone hold them in position, it does not matter if they have a hand showing in the photograph, as long as they are not covering any important markings (I have also found that bribery, in the form of food or their favourite toy, works quite well. I do have a Cocker Spaniel who loves his food, though!).

• In circumstances where your much loved pet has departed and you only have a few blurred snap shots, I will do my very best to get his or her likeness. I will probably want you to tell me about them and their little habits, as this will help me to get a feel of their personality, which all helps the finished portrait.

• Here is an example of the perfect photograph:

• FINALLY I am fussy, I know. Sorry! This is what makes the difference between an OK painting and a wonderful keepsake you will treasure, though.



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