The first time I went up and took pictures, I couldn’t get the angle right. I had been commissioned to paint a friend’s house. There were trees on the curb of the house entirely covering the street view and the house angled steeply upward. When I got home and reviewed the photos, I could not visualize a nice painting. I needed to head up to the house again armed with a little known artistic tool, the tall ladder. If I climbed near the top rung, the angle was much better. The other option would have been to climb up a tree but that might have ended with a nice ride in the back of an ambulance and leaves in my teeth.
Even though I took great care to get the right photo, it is your inspiration and jumping off point. If you are a slave to the photo, your painting will show it. You need to think of design and color and move things around to get the essence of the view. When you are doing a watercolor of someone’s house, you want to portray the house but you also want a beautiful painting that captures the family, the love and day to day adventures that live within. It becomes a painting of family and memories.