Reference Photo Guidelines

Here at Covatar, we use a completely different approach to creating digital illustrations, which distinguishes us from the competition. In a nutshell: we don't trace photos. Our illustrators adhere to the strictest creation process guidelines.

We sketch each portrait by hand from scratch using skills and techniques acquired over years of practice, experimentation, and learning.

Our artists will need your very best reference photos to capture your character and create the most suitable custom result. Not every photograph or image is up to snuff, but most are - and you look amazing!

✦ Please avoid selfies taken from too close (less than 3 ft), as well as photos shot from above or below. Extreme angles cause skewed proportions and distortions, leading to a picture that may not entirely resemble you. Remember that time you accidentally snapped a selfie, and it looked hella weird? Nuff said.

✦ Don't send photos unless you love how you look in them. If you don't like the pic - you probably won't like the portrait based on it! It’s one of the laws of physics.

✦ Good lighting is crucial! Beauty comes in all shapes and colors, and our artists do their best to convey it. Bright sunlight or a yellow lamp - we love lamp - can change the appearance of your skin and hair colors. Try to include only pictures with the most true-to-life colors!

✦ Covatar believes that beauty ages like a fine wine... but Polaroids don't. Please don't send us outdated imagery. We prefer to show you off in all your up-to-date glory and technicolor splendor!

✦ While filters and AR masks may look cute, they decrease the photo's quality and make it more difficult to perceive your facial features and expressions. Please no.

✦ Children and animals don't usually like posing for pictures, making it hard to draw them. Please make sure you take photos of your littles while they’re sitting somewhat still, facing forward, and from a distance of 3 to 5 feet. No action shots, please.

✦ Please keep long hair back if possible, and don't hide your face with accessories like sunglasses, face masks, hats, or hoodies. To make the Covatar look exactly like you, our artists carefully study all the features that make you unique. We have a couple of geneticists on staff here, so...

✦ Most of us like to experiment with our appearance from time to time. Please make sure to send us your most recent or favorite hairstyle! And if you wear makeup, please send photos of your favorite look so we can depict it.

✦ Please avoid sending us low-resolution images and photos taken from too far away. When your eye is exactly one pixel in size - it's tough to guess what you look like!