If you have pets then there is little doubt that they have managed to worm their way into your heartstrings. Those little (sometimes big!) balls of fluff and feathers are always there to greet us with unconditional love and company no matter what is going on in the world around us. It’s been a challenging year (almost a year and a half really) and with all the extra time we’ve spent at home, I think a lot of us have become closer to our furry companions. Pets are like family to a lot of people and just like we love hanging pictures of our family on the walls it’s safe to say a lot of us like to add our furry friends to the mix too! If you remember our family photo wall article then you already know how I feel about including the critters in the home decor! Personalized pet portraits are not a new craze but I feel like they have certainly seen an uptick during the pandemic and there are so many new options available in this market that I was exceptionally excited to give West & Willow a try when they reached out with an offer.
Adding Personalized Pet Portraits to Home Decor
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There are more than a few reasons to add your favorite pets to your home decor. Some of them are obvious – let’s face it your pets are cute and you know it! But adding your animals to your home decor can be like adding a fuzzy blanket to your couch. It adds a layer of cozy comfort that can turn an otherwise cold space into a place you want to linger. For those who raise purebred show animals, it can be a way to remember past champions or showcase their hard work throughout the years as they have built their bloodlines. For others, it might just be a way to remember old friends for years to come.
No matter why you want to add a personalized pet portrait to your home you are fortunate to be living in an age where there are multiple options available. You don’t have to print out a roll of film and hang regular photographs anymore. Now you can turn your pet into a piece of artwork that will look good in practically any decor style. I was particularly attracted to West & Willow because of their painterly minimalist style. I also liked that they have a small section on their order form for special instructions. This means that you can point out small details that are particularly important to you and make sure they are included in the artwork. This can be anything from the color of your pet’s collar to an oddly shaped marking that you particularly adore.
While you can get any animal featured in West & Willow the majority of the portraits done are of cats and dogs – which makes sense. They are the most popular and typical pets for people to have for a reason. However – I wanted to do something a little different and since we live on a homestead I had a lot of options!
In the end, I decided to feature Luna, Cyra & Friend in our personalized pet portrait. I chose these three for a couple of reasons
- I love my goats! Ever since I was a teenager in 4H I have loved goats. My first goat was a Toggenburg named Lollipop and while she is long gone now her legacy lives on in Luna and Cyra since she created my love of goats in the first place.
- Friend is my daughter’s most beloved animal on the farm. It might seem a bit odd to love a rooster so much but she does and he seems to love her too. He runs up to see her when she’s outside and loves to sit on her lap on the hammock. I wanted her to have something special to remember him by when she got older and this piece of artwork seemed like a great way to have something she can take with her someday.
- I wanted to do our dining room in a farm-style decor and what’s better than a picture of two goats and a rooster for that?
Creating Your Personalized Pet Portrait
Creating your personalized pet portrait is far easier than I expected it to be. I thought I would be agonizing over details or trying to find the perfect high-quality photo forever! In the end, it only took me a couple of minutes on their website where I picked my frame color, background, and a few minutes in the yard tracking down Friend for a nice head-on photo. I already had quite a few photos of the goats. In general, chickens can be hard to photograph clearly because they move around so much. Thankfully Friend cooperated quite nicely, probably because I was holding a cup of corn to keep his attention. Food is a great motivator when it comes to getting perfect photos.
In general, you want to upload clear, well-lit, and close-up photos of your pets for the best results. These are the photos I uploaded for my portrait.
And the picture I received from West & Willow did not disappoint! I purposefully added nothing to the special instructions just to see how well they captured my critters from the photos alone and they did an amazing job! They even included Friend’s little copper chest freckles which is a pretty important feature that sets him apart from our other roosters as well as Luna and Cyra’s beautiful blue eyes.
I immediately hung our photo up in the dining room where it will be loved by everyone who stays over for dinner. My daughter has already claimed it and I’ll be more than happy to pass it down to her when she inevitably moves on to her own home.