Photo tips

Top tips for your source photos

Your photograph is key for your artwork. I can only draw what I see, so the better the quality and clarity of your photograph, the better your artwork will be! I will always assess any photos you provide and be honest if I won’t be able to use them. Please don’t take offence; I will only ever reject a photo due to its quality and contrast and my ability to accurately draw it, it’s no reflection on how beautiful it may be or how much it means to you. Ultimately I want you to be thrilled with your final artwork, so I’ll be upfront if I think I can’t create something of the quality you deserve.

Two simple rules to remember

Resolution and focus – Make sure that your chosen photographs are as high quality and resolution as possible, and also make sure they’re in focus! I need lots of clarity and definition to work from, and the more I have to ‘zoom’, the more blurred the images become. The most successful images will be those taken in good light where the subjects fill the frame – if you use a modern smartphone, tablet or camera, the resolution should be fine, though see below for guidance on lighting.



Light and composition – The best photographs are those taken in natural daylight, either outside or inside by a window; alternatively those taken by a proficient photographer with quality lighting will also be a safe bet. Please avoid supplying photographs taken using a flash where possible! As a general rule, portraits (whether they are pets or people) work best if the source photo is taken at the same level and straight on to the subject. Photos looking down or up at a subject rarely translate into really memorable artworks.



Single or multiple images?

I am able to use separate source images of different subjects to create a final composite artwork, however my preference is to work from a single image of all subjects. If that isn’t possible and you are taking a new photo of a number of subjects which you hope to use as a source image, try taking multiple shots while they are in the same basic position, as I will usually be able to take the ‘best’ face from different images to create a final artwork that shows off all the subjects at their best.

I hope these guidelines are useful, but I would be delighted to chat your artwork through with you in person. These are just guidelines, after all, and I’ll always do my best to create something truly special for you.

If you would like to have new photographs taken to use as the basis for your Elizabeth Searle Design, then I can recommend the services of Surrey-based Mr Shutterbug, who specialises in portrait, wedding and wildlife photography.