Photo references? [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Photo references?

07-03-2014, 02:01 PM
Hey. I'm kind of struggling to find photo references to draw from.
Photo's that are very clear and detailed. Does anyone know of any website I could maybe find some good clear photo's of people to draw from?

Also I'm trying to get some commission's and every time someone asks for a drawing, their photo is not clear or large enough for me to actually draw from, and the outcome when I do actually try, isn't very good to me personally.
This is usually over Facebook so I was wondering if anyone know's maybe where I could present my work and try to get commission's?
Or if at my stage I should just keep doing them for free at the moment, although I would LOVE to make some cash from this.

Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.
Thank you :)

03-14-2015, 08:12 PM
I have done pet portraits for decades and find this to be a constant problem. I paint from photos, paper or digital. I tell the customers from the start that I need close up, high resolution, detailed photos in good light or I can't do it. I have, occasionally had to take these pics of the subject myself if they live close by. I have also, but rarely, had to refuse a job until they could give me good photos to work from, but if the pet has passed away, that's difficult. Sometimes I just do the best I can with what I have.

I would rather turn down the job than give someone a substandard painting.

03-15-2015, 07:14 AM
Ha, the bane of every portrait artists life, the poor ref photo. :)

High resolution images can be searched for via the Google images search tools/size.

As far as customers go, they will never understand the pain they out us through with substandard ref's, I find it best to show them examples of photos and point out what makes it a good photo. Failing that, if possible, take it yourself.

I often envy the abstract artist, being able to draw/paint whatever's going on in their restless minds, with no reliance on customers to comply to standards. :)

Grumpy Old Man
04-16-2015, 07:11 AM
Stock photos are all over the internet. Try, or and others. Licenses often vary according to use as well as size, so read carefully. You can also do a search for 'free stock photography' or other terms, but, as a rule, photos there are not as high quality as pay sites.

Be specific when you ask for hi-res photos. Let your customer know the file size you want as well as the resolution and type (.jpg, .tif, raw, etc).

If you'd like a couple hi-res photos to practice with, let me know what subjects you prefer and what size files you like, and then I'll send you a couple. I shoot in Nikon's raw format then convert to whatever format is necessary for use. Doing it this way keeps a lot of details lost in the internal conversion process.

Good luck.