The best photographs for me to work with are ones where the subject is as close up as possible and in focus. I particularly need to be able to distinguish eye colour and markings. It is best if the photograph can be taken outside and without the sun in their eyes. If agile enough, it is best if you can get down to their eye level or, if not have them sitting raised up. This avoids having them looking up at you.
If there is more than one subject to be painted from separate photos, I will need to see how they compare in size. A selection of photos showing them together would help. Most often it makes for a better painting to have just head, shoulders and chest (3/4), rather than full body. Sometimes though you may prefer to show the way they sit or particular markings lower down.
Blurred, dark or very small photos are very hard for me to work from but if that is all you have then I would need to look at the possibility of creating a portrait from them. I can often work from a combination of photos to achieve the perfect likeness, for example you may have a photo of the perfect pose but with no detail but a good colour likeness and close up in another.
If you have any questions or special requests or, if you are local and would prefer me to take the photographs, you can contact me by phone or e-mail (see contact me page)