The best pictures for a portrait – either in oil or ink – are where the subject is as close as possible to eye level with the camera, mainly because looking down on a pet can really make the body look deformed (and rather unattractive). Here are a few additional things to consider when choosing/taking your pictures:

1-  We like their eyes to be open (and alert).
(Sleeping animals are cute in pictures
but not the best reference.
2-  It’s best to have whole faces (ears & noses)
in the picture.
3-  Close to the camera is good – BUT if they are running towards the camera and they get too close, they will look distorted.
4-  If we are painting a whole pet, then all paws and tails should be in the picture as well.
5-  The picture must be IN FOCUS & at least 1MB in size.
6-  The best lighting is outside – in natural daylight, on an overcast day with diffused light. NO FLASH please!

These things are are not always possible, I know, but if you can achieve a few of them, you will be well on the way to getting a great painting. Happy photographing/photo searching!