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How to choose a good reference photograph for a portrait?

The first thing you need to do before booking a portrait with me is to choose a reference photograph of the subject. A good reference photo should have the following requirements:

  • Image resolution not under 300dpi. An original photo that is taken by phone is as good as the one taken by a camera. If you download it from a Facebook page, it likely won't meet this requirement.

  • Taken in good lighting, natural daylight preferable. A good lighting photo will help me to capture all vital details of the subject and to give me a clear view of the expression and emotion.

  • Taken up close to the subject, show the complete head, neck and shoulders 

  • You love that photo. It is important that the photo you want me to draw is the one you love. In case your favorite photo doesn't meet all three above requirements, feel free to send me as many photos as you want, I will work with you to find the best solution.

My target in each portrait is to capture the best of the subject character. Therefore, I would love to receive more pictures, videos, or short descriptions of the subject, and to know them better.


Example of an ideal reference photo

In this photo, Winston shows his complete head and chest, which is good for a portrait. The photo is bright and there is the sky reflection in his eyes that bring a marvelous effect.

Example of a bad reference photo

Winston is in a good pose, but the photo is dark and taken a bit far. Therefore I won't be able to see the details of his fur and his eyes even when I zoom the photo out.

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