Are my images suitable for a custom portrait?
We made a quick guide to help answer that question...
1. Size definitely matters.
All images are measured in pixels (tiny squares of colour that make up the entire image), the more pixels an image has, the higher the resolution and the better the results.
For example, a 12x12 inch piece of 'high resolution' (300dpi) digital paper is 3600 pixels wide x 3600 pixels high. If your images were say 360x360 pixels, they would only appear as a postage stamp size on the paper. When we then increase the size, they get blurry. Try to find images that are pixel-sized in the 1000's rather than the 100's for best results.
2. The best images show a full upper body, facing forwards
The upper body 'in shot' helps to add natural harmony to a portrait and prevents a 'floating head' effect where a person might appear disconnected from surrounding people.
3. Try to find well lit and focused images.
Clearly lit and sharply focused photos are perfect. They provide us with the most detail to work with. Poorly lit, blurry or grainy images hold much less information and usually have to be rejected.
4. Be mindful of objects and obstructions.
Review your images for objects or items that might hide a persons features from view. We can actually work quite a lot of magic, but we can't accurately reconstruct large parts of a person's features from imagination (unfortunately).
5. People can't be too far away.
Make sure that the subjects are close up, in focus and clear. If the people in the photo are too far away, it drastically reduces the information in the pixels. Then, when we zoom in and enlarge them for a portrait, the details are lost.
6. Look out for glare and reflections.
Check your images for sections that might be 'blown out' because of reflections or glare (common with glass in an image for example). Usually the part of the image where light is very strong will remove any details that we need.