To get the best out of your painting, I recommend the following:
Firstly, have a good quality photo. The better the quality, the better chance I have
of capturing the likeness and expression of your pet.
Secondly, avoid obscured or blurry photos, and ensure that your pet is clearly visible.
Try and find or take a photo that captures the behaviour your pet is best known for. If your dog is energetic and playfull, try take a picture of them playing fetch or playing with their favorite toy. If your cat is an every day Garfield, try capture it lazing about in the sun or sleeping in its favourite spot.
By capturing a picture of your pets personality, you can capture a moment that not only commemorates what your pet looked like, but also who your pet was.
2. Eye level
Getting down to your pets eye level creates a more natural looking picture. By meeting them at their own level, you can get a picture of your pets face without the positioning of their body seeming unnatural.
Taking a photo while standing can also result in the subject looking too far away. It also frames the picture from a very human perspective which can seem less interesting in comparison.
4. Action shot
There are three parts to this one. Firstly, create a more natural photo by catching your pet unaware. Even pet's can be camera shy and can sometimes look annoyed when they know they're being watched.
Secondly, by using a fast shutter speed on your camera, you can take crisper pictures of moving subjects.
Lastly, by combining a fast shutter speed with a continuous frame rate (the camera takes multiple pictures in a short burst) you can capture the stages of movement and select the best resulting photo. This works well for birds taking off, horses jumping and cats and dogs playing.
5. Close up
Choosing the right lense can be an important factor in getting the perfect photo. When photographing a subject that is close to you, you want to use a wide angle lens with a shorter focal length. For subjects that are further away, a lens with a longer focal length, such as a telephoto lens, can give the illusion that a far away subject is actually closer, as was the case with this photo.
For capturing a playful pup, I recomend a wide angle lens with a short focal length. This means you can play with your pet up close and get an in-the-moment picture.
For capturing horses show jumping, or other wildlife, a telephoto lens with a long focal length will allow you keep your distance and still get an up-close picture.