#1 in a series of free good advice for artists of all stripes.
NEVER, EVER take a portrait commission where the only reference is a group polaroid from a bowling team in 1970. Just don't. Everyone will be unhappy.
Underlying principle: just because you can recognize your own features in a blurry b/w snapshot where the head is 1/4" tall doesn't mean there's enough information to actually create a work of art from that. Professional portrait artists take 100-300 pictures of a perfectly living, appropriately dressed, well-lit person to make a single portrait.
Solutions: a) pass it by. b) get a lot more photos. c) get a stand in and do the 100-300 picture thing. Preference: a.
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