Facebook members are best uploading high resolution images for best quality
or search "facebook How do I upload high-resolution photos?"
Getting good photos to paint from with animal subjects is not easy and you need patience, time and concentration!
Key words to remember are POSE, DETAIL, LIGHTING, EXPOSURE & RELAX
Always get down to the level of your dog/cat. Don't look down with the camera or up very much.
Get close so I see more detail, but not too close if your lens is wide angle, as many 'point & shoot' camera or mobile lenses tend to distort the dog/cat and exaggerate what is nearest, so creating unnatural proportions. If in doubt, take some close-up and others a little further away.
Avoid movement in the dog/cat or strange expressions - it's best they look directly at you or over your shoulder, but not side-on unless a show dog/cat all body type pose.
Full-body needs 'turning' a little, as it will not look good to me, but head and shoulders can look fine head-on.
Outdoor natural lighting is usually best as flash indoors is difficult to get right and is usually head-on, which flattens the form of the dog/cat and doesn't make pleasing highlights or shadows. Avoid backlighting - white wall, bright light sky, open window when indoors for example, unless you can then over-expose the dog/cat to compensate. If not, move closer so the exposure is not so affected by the backlighting.
Try to get the dog/cat relaxed, maybe tiring out a working or hyper-active dog/cat before the shoot. It can sometimes take two of you to do the shoot well - one with camera, the other to act as something for the dog/cat to focus on, but without that "just lurching forward to them" pose! Take plenty of photos as the more the better for me as some reveal things others do not. If in doubt, look at my work for poses that work as paintings - I have very few where I had no choice, maybe because the dog/cat had passed away and available photos were limited. Mostly I chose from good photos taken by me.
My style of painting animals is fairly traditional, so subjects are usually in a state of equilibrium
or if not, they are dynamic, but counter-balanced with other elements within the picture.
A dog/cat leaning forward as if to run is rarely ok, because there is nothing to counter it and the painting becomes 'unstable' and uncomfortable.
A dog/cat jumping for something can sometimes be ok, depending on the context, my http://finest-oil-paintings.com/dog6_detail.html
for example has the pheasant to balance the dog.
Hunting scenes like this need other elements apart from the dog itself.
Detail, lighting & exposure
Form comes from light. Detail comes from light. I need light!
Correct exposure matters. It means I see detail in shadows and highlights and your eye will accept lack of shadow more readily in a photo than a painting.
When we see things in front of us, we see selectively and compensate for extremes of light, being able to 'zoom into' areas and experience a much wider range of tones than any photograph can show us. If I'm using photos, I cannot do this editing without the animal in front of me, so rely on the photos I have.
If you don't know what I am talking about (few people do), then aside from total auto mode of your device, take several photos pointing your camera/mobile at different areas of the scene and using any 'hold' feature to hold that exposure. Look for 'bracketed' exposure features on you device too.
This way we will get a variety of exposures for light and dark areas of the scene, improving the chances of seeing them being correct.
Back to the dog/cat, this means I will see detail in the shadows e.g. under their jaw or larger areas if the subject is lit by a strong side-on light. I will also see detail in tops of heads and noses or even the whole side of such a strongly lit subject.
Detail also comes form being close enough to the subject, partly due to colours becoming more saturated the closer we are to the subject and also due to the resolution limitations of our device.
Flash, unless done well, kills form because it will be head on and not portray form well. It also kills eyes looking good and that's not how you are used to seeing your pet. How I paint the eyes is very important, being such a major element of your connection with your dog/cat.
As said earlier, always try to use natural outdoor lighting, even indoors, such as in a conservatory, which tend to be well lit.
Strong sunlight can actually be worse than a bright but slightly cloudy day, so contrasts are not so high to create exposure headaches.
If you stay calm, your dog/cat will be more likely to stay calm, so they settle more into a pose and you think of all this stuff I'm filling your head with!