I use a Canon Rebel but you know today any smartphone will take a good high quality photo. I open the photo in Photoshop. The first thing I do is resize it so that the area I want to crop will fit the size of wood that I will be using eg. 5x7. I may do this several times until I get what I'm looking for. I usually want shoulders and neck lines close to the bottom and we'll say leave about 0.5" to 1" from the top of the head to the top of the wood. Once the photo is cropped I adjust lighting and shadows, this helps to reduce dark areas and bring out more detail when carved on wood. The next thing I do is remove the background (unless there is something worth keeping). I also set the background color to White. I save as a photoshop file and then save as a color BMP file. Apparently a bitmap will keep crisp edges and not soften them like Jpeg's, etc. I have tried B&W but doesn't seem to make a difference. I use the bitmap file in photoVcarve for the carve. I've also altered my parameters. I now use a 0.0625 (1/16) Amana conical ballnose bit. My max cut depth is now 0.040" from 0.030". The smaller bit allows me to cut deeper and not loose any detail. I still use 5% line spacing. I do not use the Cross hatch function anymore, doubles the time and does not seem to do much.