Taking your reference photo

When ordering a picture, it is helpful to be as clear as possible about what you would like. We can accommodate most requirements as long as you tell us before we draw the picture. If you don't tell us we will use artistic licence.

Hopefully the notes below are helpful, and also the gallery of examples.


As your reference photo is the basis of the picture, it is well worth spending a little time making this as good as possible. Please remember:

  • Make sure the colour of the subject on the photo is close to real life. Taking the picture in daylight is often helpful. The drawing won't be an exact match, but it is important that we can distinguish between grey/beige/white/pink!

  • Take the picture with the subject at eye level, not looking down on it

  • Take the picture from a fairly close position

  • If you are having more than one subject in a single picture, experiment with posing them together, eg hugging, holding paws, overlapping. If this is not possible, we can combine them from separate photos.

  • With particularly floppy toys, consider sellotaping or leaning them against a cushion. Sometimes it helps to prop up the chin with a pencil (I won't include props in the drawing!). Please do not sellotape your pet to a cushion!

  • If the subject has a distinctive tail/label/collar/other feature, make sure this is visible in the picture, as that can really help make it recognisable

What if I don't have the subject?

Sadly, toys and pets are sometimes lost. We can (to an extent) recreate images of absent subjects from whatever reference photos you have (the more the better). Feel free to contact us to discuss.



If you would like a title, we can do whatever you want including speech marks, hearts, childrens' names, etc. When you send the reference photo, please also confirm exactly how you would like the title. Here are some examples.