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Portraits and Photos Unique, Fun Way to Pay Tribute to Pets


Commissioning pet portraits and photos is a unique way to turn your love for your furry family members into stylish artwork for your home. Most animal lovers already have countless photos of their pets on their phones; they use them as screensavers and post them on social media to brag about their cuteness. So why not take that obsession with pets one step further by booking them their own photo session or commissioning their portrait?


From photo sessions with pets as the stars to contracting with local artists to capture their essence, pet owners have options. And since pet portraits and photos make even better gifts for family and friends, it may be worth considering for those in search of a memorable present.


Sitting Pretty for Pet Portraits


“A custom-painted oil or watercolor portrait is a one-of-a-kind gift to cherish forever,” said Yelena Lamm, a Pittsburgh artist specializing in people and pet portraits. “In my portraits, I strive to show not only a physical resemblance but to reflect on their personalities and unique characters.”


Lamm works from photographs sent to her by clients or when possible, from photos she has taken herself of her subjects. She prefers to meet the animals before painting them to get a feel for their personalities.


“If I cannot meet with the models in person, I want to see multiple pictures of them, from different angles, in different settings. I want to know more about them to capture their essence,” she explained. “I like to hear stories people tell about their pets. This emotional connection with my subject helps to create a successful portrait, and my clients can feel it when they see the result.”


An artist all her life, Lamm credits her evolution as an artist and the shift in her artistic style to her cat, Rio. Lamm only started painting family pets and other animals in 2018 after her Maine Coon kitten got sick. He needed knee surgery and was miserable, Lamm recounted.