The source photographs you provide me are of utmost important. If I don’t have high quality photographs, the quality of the portrait I produce suffers.

Although I can create composite portraits (combining multiple pictures into one portrait), the most realistic, true-to-life results come from focusing on one specific picture. It helps to have multiple pictures to refer to, but I work best with one particular photo to recreate.

The best source photographs are high resolution (3000 x 4000 pixels or greater). Facebook pictures are often not high enough quality. Please message me with questions about your photos.

In addition to resolution, other aspects of the photograph matter too, such as how well focused it is, what the lighting is like, and how close the picture focuses on the subject’s face. The following examples are excellent portrait photographs.


The ideal photograph for a portrait of a person is close up, clearly focused on the subject’s face. Lighting is extremely important for a good portrait photograph. If the lighting in the picture is dim, muddy, too bright, or too dark, as in the examples below, the resulting portrait will most likely be unappealing.

The lighting in this picture is too dim.  example_dimlight

The following pictures show examples of lighting that is too bright. In the photograph on the right, the lighting is overall fine, but because of the angle of the sun, there are deep shadows cast over the subject’s face by her nose. This would result in a potentially unattractive portrait.

example_brightlight2 example_brightlight

In my opinion, the eyes are the most important part of a portrait. If they are in focus and expressive, the resulting portrait drawing will be stunning. The following picture shows eyes that are not in focus. The focus in this photo is on the dog’s nose. 

There is one last example to show you. In this photograph, the lighting is rather dim, but the there is enough variation in skin tone, and the woman’s eyes are clear and in focus. This is a photograph that could make an attractive portrait, especially if I had other photographs available to show the person’s skin tones that I could use as reference. 

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