Photography Tips For Portraits


A few things to remember when providing me with a reference picture

In most cases I will not be able to meet you, your family member or pet in person, I have to rely on photographs, and these are the only way for me to get to know them. Often clients have a treasured photo that they really love, and I will always try my very best to work from that photo to create a portrait that’s special for you. In the case of deceased subjects I will do my utmost to work with what you have – it is possible to create color portraits from black and white photos and I can use slides, phone photos or video stills if necessary.

With the popularity and advantages of digital cameras, it’s so easy to be able to take many photos in one session and come out with at least one or two good photos for a portrait. There are no processing costs involved with digital photography, so my advice would be to keep snapping away until you are happy with your results. After all you can just delete them if you don’t like them!

When taking your own photos imagine how the finished portrait might look once framed and hanging on the wall. Good, clear photos are preferable as the quality will directly impact the detail of the finished portrait.  Natural lighting is always superior to flash, so plan a photo session during the day and not on the evening.  A nice sunny or slightly cloudy day is the perfect opportunity for a photo shoot. If you are unable to take photos outside, taking pictures by a window or patio door is a good option. Consider the clothing to be worn by the subject, the hair styling and make up if required and try different poses and expressions.

Photographing Children & Pets

Children and Pets can be harder to photograph than adults. There will be times that you know will be easier to take photos of them – when they are raring to go and alert and not when they are tired or hungry. You will find that by waiting for the perfect moment you might be able to catch the specific look you are hoping for, that perhaps shows their personality and character well. These can quite easily be captured with a little preparation and patience.  Make it a relaxed, fun photo shoot with incentives or treats!  Let them play a game or have a favorite toy or use props to make it entertaining.  You might also like to ask a relative or friend to help, someone to get the attention of your child or pet while you take the photos, can be really handy!

Many people tend to look down on their children or pets when they are taking photos – this is natural, and it is the way we see them most of the time. However the drawing you commission will be displayed on the wall at eye level, so it makes much more sense to be taking the photo on their level. Photos taken from your children’s/pet’s eye level will help me to produce a drawing that will look perfect, in pride of place, in your home. To achieve perfect photos at the right level, you can either crouch or lie down when taking photos of small children or pets, or alternatively you could raise up your subject up on a bed, chair or table to achieve the same result.

photo tips

The photo reference

I work from one main photo or I can create portraits from multiple photos that have been taken from similar angles and with similar lighting conditions. I am unable to really make things up, so the photo has to be how you want the portrait to be. Clear, sharp photos will provide the most detailed portraits and it is good to provide me with several photos so that I can truly capture the personality and character of the subject. I can change minor things on a case by case basis and if you would like my opinion on your photos please contact me.

Photos can be emailed to me at their full resolution to annazech (at) hotmail (dot) de. Once we have established the photos to be used and your requirements I shall commence work on your portrait.

Have fun taking your photos and capturing those special moments and I shall look forward to seeing them soon and creating a beautiful portrait for you!