Artists prefer to draw their subjects from life. However in the case of caricatures (invariably given as surprise gifts) a sitting is out of the question. Therefore we work from photographs provided by you, the customer. It is important to bear in mind that these photos form the foundation of the likenesses in our caricatures; the better the photos, the more we see of the person’s face and so the better observed and funnier the drawing will be. You can email these or alternatively you may wish to post to a sharing site such as Flikr, Photobucket or Skydrive and simply send us the link.
Before sending or posting anything, we would ask you to consider each of these five points. Please note, all photos are genuine items sent us by customers.
1) ARE YOUR PHOTOS TINY?
If the faces in your photos are smaller than postage stamps we can’t use them. Bear in mind too that a low resolution image can’t be blown up. The Enhance software you see in movies and tv doesn’t actually exist.
Try to select close-ups. If your friends and family were far away from the camera then chances are the photo isn’t of use to us. Don’t send us photos of people who aren’t in the caricature. If it’s a group shot, crop out the people we won’t be drawing.
2) ARE YOUR PHOTOS HUGE?
Think about the size of the photos you’re sending as well as their content. This shot was end to us a huge 4000 x 3000 pixel image. But if you look at the man’s face, it actually amounts to little more than 2% of the whole file. Even the most rudimentary photo software has a facility to crop images, so give it a go and cut out unnecessary info!
And as we’ll get into below, the selection of a shot where the subject is wearing a hat and cast in shadow doesn’t help either.
Don’t send us photos of people we don’t need to see. In the above shot, only the man seated on the right was actually needed for the caricature.
If you need to send us a shot of a pet, a car, a piece of clothing, a treasured belonging or a landmark that you’d like included in the artwork, be sure to focus in on the essentials. For example, all we were asked to draw from the photo above was the striped beacon in the distance.
3) ARE YOUR PHOTOS INCOMPLETE?
We need to see the whole face and head. Don’t send us a photo with any part of that missing or hidden (no hats, sunglasses, snorkels or masks please!). Also try to avoid photos were someone with dark hair is standing against a dark or black background.
Also avoid profile photos. If we can’t see the whole face, we can’t draw them.
Needless to say, if you send us a photo of the back of a person’s head, it won’t be used.
4) ARE YOUR PHOTOS UNCLEAR?
We don’t need professionally lit, studio quality photos. But we do need to see faces in detail. Coloured light blends out detail and is of no use. Bleached, blurred or foggy photos are of no use.
Photos of photos are of no use.
5) ARE YOUR PHOTOS ODD?
Most of the time, people want to see a caricature of a person being happy and looking as they appear today. Try not to send us photos of people pulling odd or unhappy faces.
Don’t send us photos from years – or even decades – in the past, UNLESS the point of the caricature is to show your loved one in their 80s gear!
It’s common sense, folks. If the anwer to ANY of the five questions above is “yes”, DON’T USE THOSE PHOTOS!