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Reproducing Exact Photo Repros?

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Brad Hendrickson, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Member

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    Of the taxis that do reproductions, how close is close enough? Someone brings in measurements and a photo or two.. How much ERROR is reasonable in matching the photo?
    I mean obviously you want it to look like it just came out of the water. But lets say for COMMERCIAL Purposes or Even for a little Better than Commercial , whats the tolerance level of disparity between what you paint and what the photo looks like..? Whats Expected from the Customer?
    And do any of you have any actual photos of say Your Reproduction vs the Actual Fish Photo?
    I understand your going to want the bars, markings, dots, this and that all in the same spot and same size.. But Whats reasonable as far as matching it and everything else as close to the photo as possible?
     
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure we all try to closely replicate the photo but in all actuality we cannot replicate the lighting or surroundings of when and where the picture was taken, those play into how the fish looks. I make sure to replicate the majority of the markings and overall look like you say but I don't often go as far as replicating red spots associated with the fish fighting for it's life. I also don't typically add scars back, unless requested. I spend the time to fix them on skin mounts so why would I put them on a replica. I'm one that likes to replicate a fish looking as good as it can be or as I can, not beat up from nets and such or from other battles.
     
    Brad Hendrickson likes this.

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    For my clients I say if I can do 90% I did my job whether it’s a skin or repro. I enjoy pics from my clients and request them all the time. I get paid to do this.
    Yes I get less fish in lol but that gives me time to enjoy doing this work. Yes this is commercial work but each artist may and can only do so much depending on time and price they charge. That’s the main issue PRICE.
    If their not paying then you shouldn’t take pics and in and express to the client on what your going to do. The explanation then becomes look for this price if I can do 50% then you did your job. You have to pick on what your capable of doing.
     
    Mudbat and Brad Hendrickson like this.
  4. Great subject. I don't do any fish anymore but this question always made me think. I have had customers show me pictures that obviously were over exposed or looked nothing like what you know the actual fish looked liked, but the customer was convinced it was same color in the picture. Then if you painted it like that and some that knew seen it you are going to look stupid. I think a happy medium is correct. Just try and get it close in size and with in reasonable color for the fish. Yes the markings are obvious to the customer so try and match them. It's been my experience to just do your best and your customer will be happy. Don't over analyze it .

    I liked the old day's, before everyone carried a camera with them fishing lol
     
  5. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Member

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    That's what I was thinking.. most customers I think would be happy as long as its close and doesn't look like a circus. But theres always those FEW!!! I think If I were to do a repro for someone one day, I will have some fish on my walls and a photo of the Real fish for comparison so they know what to expect!..
    I have 5 mounted perch that I had done by a taxidermist. Now that i'm getting into this new little hobby of mine, I look at them and I'm like-- OK that is NOT how that is supposed to look, That is NOT the color they look from this lake EVER, etc etc. I figured what hell, i'm stripping them and redoing them and see what happens. Worst case scenario They look like circus clowns, but i'm that much wiser after the fact! Last Saturday I stripped two and painted two.. I played around all day all night and didn't go to bed till 12:30.. I'm so anal and get addicted.. Granted this isn't for a paying job, If it was putting food on my table then it would probably be different..... But anyways. Enough of my blubbering.. off to play :)
     
    Lance.G likes this.
  6. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

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    dont colors fade as the fish dies ? the longer they stay on the stringer or in the bucket before the photo is taken can affect the color of the fish and the photo, correct ?

    so the photo they took, may not be what they remember when they caught the fish, or when they get it back from the taxidermist.
     
  7. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    If I understand your question correctly assuming it's a freshly caught photo*, I match the colors and general markings to my customers photo(s). "General" meaning, say for instance a pike. I will paint the approximate size and shapes and spacing of the beans and maybe even toss in a couple that are unique to the fish (rarely). But, I am not trying to reproduce exactly, bean for bean. That level of detail is for the Art Galleries or competitions (perhaps). And P.S., no customer will ever notice the discrepancies (or not) in that level of detail either.

    *I always poke them further if I see the fish in the photo is not freshly caught and even so I ask them if the photo is representative of their fish color-wise? I might even suggest it looks faded a bit.
     
    Sotired and Brad Hendrickson like this.
  8. Show & Tell

    Show & Tell Member

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    Let's see, if I am replying correctly... new to this chat sight.... Brad, my advice to you is. Shoot for making it look just like the picture. If it dose not then take the paint off and try AGAIN. Practice makes perfect. Never shoot for half ass... that is not how you get returning customers. Have faith in your self and shoot for success.
     
    Sotired and Brad Hendrickson like this.
  9. Show & Tell

    Show & Tell Member

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    Brad lol hahaha this is
    So gonna be me!! Lol I am opening my own shop but am gonna wait to do fish. I too am a perfectionist and am gonna try my own for a while. Lol good luck bro. Happy I am not the only one that feels this way
     
    Sotired and Brad Hendrickson like this.
  10. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    I don't ask for a picture so that allows me to paint the way I want the fish to look like....alive. Except for a limited number of unique fish, a perch is a perch and a pike is a pike, and so on and they all pretty much look alike. Unless the customer has some particular request it get colored the way the all look.
     
    Cecil likes this.
  11. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Member

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    See this is where i'm gonna have a problem.. i've seen so many variations in perch color even from the same lake.. If I catch one and Its a certain color, i want it matched best as possible.. Some almost look pale brown and some look brighter green yellow.. Thats just my two cents... Now if the Customers just wants a PERCH DONE, regardless of what it looked like, then by all means I would take my simplest and most well know way of painting it... But isn't the point of having a reproduction done to make it look like the fish the person released? I mean otherwise they could jump on EBAY and pick any fish they wanted in the correct size and call it good..
     
    Lexie Neff and 3bears like this.
  12. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Brad, you are correct they could just buy one off the web. The thing is we as taxidermists all have our own individual styles, if you will. Meaning I can follow someone else's paint schedule but my fish looks different than theirs. Customers often come to you because they like your work not necessarily because it is the most realistic. 99% of the time if the fish resembles theirs they are happy and don't question it. Think about it, I almost never get pictures for skin mounts, I just paint them my way and the customer is happy, never questioning it. When I do get pictures I still paint them my way but use the picture to show me more of which way to lean with my lightness or darkness or intensity of colors, but I still use the same colors.
     
    Brad Hendrickson likes this.
  13. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    The bar has been raised through the years. SOME customers can see things some of us can see and many customers can be pretty particular/demanding. I force my customers to provide a photo or two of their freshly caught fish OR ask them to find a similar coloration on the internet and email me those pics. There's simply too many variances in colors and markings with most species to do it any other way. If you can mix colors easily and you paint only one or two fish at a time, it doesn't add much time to custom paint each fish. Photos cover my arse!
     
  14. Gary R

    Gary R Active Member

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    Here in Texas, the Largemouth Bass and the Crappie are king. On both species, I have seen about every spectrum of the rainbow, in their markings and coloration. DRAMATICALLY different, in many cases, from fish to fish. At least on the two species I mentioned. Deep water? One coloration, typically. Shallow water? Another coloration. Muddy farm pond? They all seem to be different around here at least.
     
    Lance.G and FishArt like this.
  15. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Gary R, you are correct fish do vary in intensity of colors but the markings are typically very similar from fish to fish. Not to many want a washed out largemouth or crappie mount, even if the fish looked that way when it was caught. Most don't mount fish because they liked how it looked but typically because of the size but, they usually want those markings on their finished mount regardless of when and where it was caught.
     
  16. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Sorry 3Bears I do not agree. Not only colors vary considerably. So you're saying the beans don't vary in size, shape and abundance from pike to pike? Or muskies are always barred? I've caught pure gold Smallies all the way to one's that look like leopards. Stripers are probably one of the few species where their markings are usually consistent. Colors in the upper back can vary though. Like I said and JMO, but force your customers to give you photos of what they want and you'll never go wrong!
     
    Lexie Neff likes this.
  17. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Marty, I said similar not the same, there is a difference. With skin mounts, the markings are typically there. When it comes to repros, I do prefer to get pictures to replicate, the best I can, those things you mentioned. Even though markings vary, they also almost always have similarities within the species that most folks are familiar with and associate with a particular specie. If you can come close to replicating that consistently, you will do well for all but the most discerning customer.
     
    FishArt likes this.
  18. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Member

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    and i guess that discerning customer can go down the road and have somone else do it or put it into the quote, well if you want this and that and this and that your price is gonna be this...????
     
    msestak likes this.
  19. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Member

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    I build cornhole boards.. I custom paint decals usually and I put alot of work into the boards to make them almost like works of art..I even look for certain grain patterns in the plywood and always make sure the plywood grain is going long ways. Its so much more soothing to the eye. The other guys dont do that. The look grainy, not well finished and just less quality but they charge 80 dollars less. I refuse to sell mine or build a set for that price.. I know what my time is worth and I know how Pretty they look when they are done... I guess the same goes with Taxidermy
     
    msestak likes this.
  20. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    3Bears, the original topic was asking about repros. And for the record you said "very similar" lol!