For drawing purposes high quality primarily means two things; detail and sharpness.
As you can see in my drawings, details especially around your pet’s main features such as their eyes and nose are key. The clearer and more details in a photo the better your portrait will be. It is also highly important that the photo is sharp and in focus.
Unfortunately, I am unable to work from blurry photos.
Whether you photograph your pet outdoors or indoors, try to use natural light and consider the look you want for your portrait drawing—for example, more even lighting versus a more dramatic light to dark look as in the example above. Don’t be afraid to share darker lit photos as I can often pull out details by lightening it in Photoshop.
PLEASE DO NOT USE FLASH—it will mask out a lot of details (this I cannot fix in Photoshop) and creates unnatural shadows.
Taking photo at eye level with your pet often makes for the best reference. Make sure you are capturing key features such as your pet’s eyes and nose from a good angle. For instance, too high up looking down might hide too much of your pet’s nose or eyes.
Also avoid weird angles or distorted views. For example having your pet look up to see their face as you stand over them will foreshorten their body. This can look fine in photos, but can appear odd in drawings.
Whether you photograph your pet straight on looking directly at you or more at a 3/4 view looking off past the camera is a personal choice. As long as the quality (details and sharpness) and lighting are good, you should choose a photo that best captures their character. Do they tilt their head? Mouth closed or open with tongue hanging out?
The more the photo captures your pet’s personality, the more their unique and special character will come through in their portrait.