Reference Photo Guide

Reference Photo Guide

The better your reference photo is, the better your embroidery will be! Here are some tips for selecting the best possible photo for your project.

  • Clear image, not blurry.
  • Large file size, with your pets face taking up most of the photo.
  • Lighting is even, not too bright or too dark. Natural (outdoor) lighting is best. Avoid direct sunlight which can create harsh shadows. Avoid indoor lighting because it can cause a yellow tint.
  • Avoid filters, they can really distort your pet’s coloring.
  • Visible color in the eyes is good!
  • Consider the angle: A profile, 3/4 view, or frontal shot all work great. Avoid photos taken from above or below, or if your pet's face is resting on something. 
  • Consider your pet’s expression, especially the position of their ears, and how well your photo captures their personality! 

See below for some examples:


"Good" Reference Photos

A 3/4 view of a beagle mix dog sitting outside with a harness on, photo taken from his chest up. 
This photo is evenly lit with outdoor lighting and was taken at eye level. The dog has a calm, alert, and thoughtful thanks to the forward tilt of his ears and expressive eyebrows. A three quarter view of the face makes for a great portrait!

This photo is a work of art in of itself! It is well lit, at eye level, and clear / high resolution to capture all the details in her curly fur. Her expression is a little nervous or wary, but also sassy, elegant, and full of personality. 

There is a shadow on one side of this pup’s face, but the photo is workable, especially for a linework portrait.


"Bad" Reference Photos

It looks like this photo was taken with a flash, which is never great for a reference photo. With his ears down and back this pup looks nervous or uneasy.

This pup’s expression is priceless, but the dark indoor lighting makes it difficult to see all areas of his face and ears properly and the color is not accurate.

The dog’s position and expression are wonderful. But her face is irregularly lit (shadows across her ears and nose, bright light across her eyes). This photo would work well for an outline portrait, but not for a full color embroidery!


When in doubt, feel free to send me your photos and let me choose the best as a primary reference! Your photos and even videos can help me get a better sense of your pet's looks, their personality, and ultimately capture their spirit with thread. 

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