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Commission a Portrait

How to choose or create a quality photo reference for a commissioned portrait 

I would love to be able to personally have drawing and photo sessions with all my portraiture subjects, however due to distance this is not always possible and so I have prepared some helpful guidelines to choosing or photographing images for the portrait reference.

1. Lighting -  Light should ideally be natural and one directional (one source of light). No flash. Indoor natural daylight tends to work best to illuminate the features softly with pleasing shadows and avoids harsh direct sunlight

2. Focus -  Make sure to focus on the face, and use the highest quality file size that your camera has. A small and fuzzy picture will not produce a pleasing likeness.

3. Posing - It is important to distinguish between what makes for a good snapshot and what makes for a good portrait. If you look at some wonderful portraits of past and modern artists you will find that the subject is rarely staring forward and smiling.  A natural composure of the face tells much more about a person. With children especially, I find that it takes them a long time to relax during photo shoots and so just taking a lot of photos will increase the odds of having good ones.

4. Have many options - The more images I have to choose from or work with, even if they are many photos of the same pose with tiny changes,  the better the results will be. 



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