Robert Burke - Portraits in Pencil

Taking a Suitable Photo

It's extremely easy with modern digital cameras to take a great photograph. Whether your camera is a high end SLR, small dedicated compact camera or just the camera on your smart phone, the auto settings can take all the hard work out of setting up the camera for the lighting conditions. In fact every time you look through somebodies holiday snaps, you are likely to see some stunning images that only 30 years ago would have required a degree in photography to achieve.

Though with every update in technology it is getting easier to take photographs, not every great or stunning photograph translates to being suitable as a reference for a traditionally hand drawn portrait. There can be many reasons for this ranging from poor resolution to bad camera angle. The following paragraphs will hopefully help you avoid some of the more common photography pitfalls.

Image Resolution


Cheap phone camera resolution too low 2mp. Phone screen grab typically 320 px wide.
Greasy camera lens blurs details.
Larger cameras 10mp + subject too far away.



Low light destroys definition and detail.
Take outside on slightly overcast day between 10:00 and 17:00 hrs.
Bright summer sun casts harsh shadows giving large areas of black with no detail.
Keep lighting consistent if combining several photos.

Pet Portrait Photos


How to take a pet photo

People Portrait Photos


How to take a portrait of a person