Reference photo guide for pets

Because I use photographs for pet tattoos, I rely heavily on detailed reference photos to accurately render your pet! The quality of your photo will determine the quality of your tattoo. Here are some tips for taking the perfect photos for your tattoo session.

If possible, use natural light when taking a picture of your pet! It's best to take your photos outside or in a well-lit room so there aren't shadows obscuring their face.


Take photos of your pet at eye level, as these will provide the most flattering and accurate pictures. For excellent reference photos, also make sure your pet is at a good distance from the camera.


Check to make sure the picture accurately reflects your pet's eye and fur color. Reference photos that show detail in the fur and eyes are very helpful.


You know your pet better than anyone else, so try to capture your pet's personality in your photos! For example, if your pet is playful, try holding a toy in one hand and direct their gaze to the camera.

Capturing character

If your pet has unfortunately passed away, I understand that you may have limited photos available. If this is the case, please let me know, and we can work through your photos together (and other photos if necessary).

Pets that have passed away

Here is an example of a bad vs good reference picture:

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