Photography Requirements & Tips

 

Digital Photograph Requirements

 

  • Your photo should be in focus, with ample natural lighting to capture your pet’s true color and details. Additionally, your pet should be the main subject matter of the image (not a faraway shot with your pet in the background). The best photographs make the best portraits. See the tips for taking a photo of your pet below.

  • Save your image file as a jpg.

  • Your image resolution should be no lower than 300 dpi, with a file size of 1MB or higher. This can be achieved by shooting at the highest quality that your camera allows (consult your camera's user manual for this setting).

  • Do NOT drag and drop small web image thumbnails to your desktop from your photo hosting site (Kodak, Flickr, Shutterfly, etc.). Instead, send me the original file.

  • E-mail your photo(s) to: deborah@cooperandelliott.com. NOTE: When emailing your photos, make sure your email program does not automatically reduce your image file size. You will most likely find this setting under "preferences."

  • If your photograph is a print, it can be scanned into your computer with a scanner. If you don’t have a scanner, most places that print photos, or copy places like Kinkos, can scan photos and supply them to you on a CD for a nominal fee. Just be sure that when having your photo scanned, that it is at least 300 dpi. Scanning in a photo and sending it via email is the favorable option if you are concerned about sending a precious photograph through the mail. NOTE: There is an additional $15 charge for photos that are sent via the mail that need to be scanned.

 

Old or Poor Quality Photographs

 

It’s preferable that good quality digital photographs are provided that allow me to be able to capture detail and the likeness of your pet. Unfortunately this is not always possible when the photo is old and the pet has moved onto the Rainbow Bridge. If you want a WDAP or AOPP from a less than good quality photo, contact me and we can work together to make it happen.

 

Taking a Photo of Your Pet

for Your Custom Piece

 

If your pet is like Cooper, you’ll have no trouble getting a plethora of great shots that capture their best qualities. However, if your pet is a little camera shy, it can be a bit frustrating. But, with a little preparation and a lot of patience, you should be able to get at least a few quality shots. The following are a few simple and effective tips to follow when trying to get that shot:

 

Lighting

  • The best lighting for photographing your pet is natural light outside. If that is not possible, try positioning your pet close to a window where natural light is coming through, slightly to the side of you as you face your pet.

  • You want to avoid too much contrast between shadow and light as it will hide some features of your pet and alter their natural coloring. Therefore, do not try to capture a photograph of your pet in direct sunlight. A bright but overcast day is perfect.

  • If your pet has a black coat, opt to use the flash or bright sunlight as either can bring out shading and texture that would be lost in photos taken under other lighting conditions. However, avoid using a flash with coats of other colors as it can distort true coloring and shading of your pet.

 

Positioning

  • Typically it is good to photograph your pet on their level instead of having them look up at you. Unless that is the look you wish to have in your portrait. Get on the floor, lie in the grass…unless you have a natural poser like Cooper, go to where your pet is most comfortable and is happy.

  • Think about what you want your custom WDAP or AOPP to show – a full body pose, or focusing on your pet’s face. If you are going to capture a full body shot, do make sure it fills the frame while still in sharp focus – far away shots are not typically usable. Try taking some three-quarter views as well as from the front, as a slightly angled pose can sometimes make a beautiful portrait photograph.

  • If your pet will not sit still for a photograph, consider having someone hold them in position; hands and arms in the frame do not matter and are easily removed as long as they do not cover important markings.

 

Personality

  • While Cooper has grown up in front of a camera and thinks it is an extension of him, some animals find it distracting. You want your pet to be at ease and comfortable. If they will not behave naturally, try having another person present to keep them alert and engaged.

  • Try to capture an expression or a pose that is characteristic of your pet. You’ll have a better success if you have favorite treats or toys in hand. Hold them up near the camera to catch (and hopefully hold) interest in the right direction.

​© 2014 Inspired by Cooper & Elliott

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