Document Family Changes With a Family Portrait

A lot of children have their photo taken every year in school. Proud parents display these photos throughout their home showing how their children have grown and changed over the years. There are even frames made especially for the display of annual photos and they are labeled with notations for first through twelfth grade. If you have more than one child, you will have a collection of photos for each one. This is a great way to remember the passing years, but it would be even nicer to have photos of the entire family for each year as well. A group photo is a great way to remember the changes in the family as the years pass. If you are looking for a truly special way to commemorate a year, consider going to a portrait artist and having a portrait painting done. This will take more time, but imagine how special it would be for everyone. This is a great way to remember a special year like a tenth or twentieth anniversary, or a new addition to the family.

However, not everyone will have the patience or budget for a handcrafted work of art. Instead, you can have a simple photo taken and it will capture the memories of your family just as well. A family photo will make a great addition to your home, especially if you frame it in a lovely frame and display it in the family gathering area. Photos can be large and displayed above a sofa as the centerpiece of the room. You can also choose smaller photos like an 8X10 and display all of them together so guests can compare the family changes. Imagine how cozy it would feel to have a hallway or staircase filled with family photos throughout the years.

To make your photos creative, consider incorporating family pets or favorite activities. If there is a new canine or feline addition to your home, be sure to bring them to the photo shoot. If you experienced something special like an important family vacation, or all of you began a new hobby, you can include these things in your photo too. Work with the photographer to see what creative ideas can make your family photos unique and creative.

The best thing about family photos is that they will still be around decades later to remember the best memories of your family. Your children and grandchildren will inherit these photos and cherish them for a long time to come. Speak with the photographer about preserving the photos so they do not yellow or crack over the years. This is important so family members can enjoy the photos for years to come and share them with future generations. In order to protec the photos, be sure to frame them properly and display them out of direct sunlight. It may also be a good idea to purchase the negatives, or at least another print, of each photo. This way there is a backup just in case something damages the larger photo. An annual family photograph is a great way to cherish your memories.

The Value of a Professional Photographer for Your Family Portraits

Many people balk at the prices professional photographers charge for session fees. Allow me to help you understand why this is so valuable for your preserving your memories.

Whether you use the person around the corner with their first DLSR and two Ikea lights or your local big box store working with a dedicated camera and lighting system or the person with the pro-level DSLR and high-powered strobe lights in home or their studio, there is always a cost. Normally, you are required to pay a “session” or “sit” fee. If you would like to order prints or digital images, there is a fee for that. Some photographers may give you low-resolution images for your Facebook page, but if you want the high quality, print-ready portraits, you have to pay for that.

What exactly are you paying for? Essentially, you are paying for your photographer’s skill, expertise, equipment use and time. While you may assume that the time ends after your hour or two has finished in front of the camera, this is just the beginning for your photographer. Many professional photographers have invested thousands of dollars in equipment that is built to survive the rigours of daily use and constant handling, backgrounds that look just as good after five years as they did when new and countless hours of training, research and development.

No matter who is taking your portraits, the next few steps are what truly set your photographers apart. The entry-level photographer may convert a few of your photographs to black and white, create one or two sepia toned, crop some of the portraits and let you proof them on Facebook. Box store studios will have an elaborate computer-based proofing/selling system where you can see every image in colour and black and white. Professional photographers, whether in studio or in your home, may either upload your proofs to their secure online proofing system or work with you to set a convenient appointment time and present proofs electronically on their laptop or tablet.

Proofing is not the last time your images will be handled and manipulated by your photographer. The entry-level photographer may just print exactly what you saw in the proofs or they make adjustments you have requested. The big box store photographers have an entire system at their end in which your photos will be automatically processed and then printed, but photo manipulation is rarely available. The professional photographer will literally spend hours tweaking and retouching your images so that each person shown is presented at their absolute best. This involves, but is not limited to, blending multiple frames so each face looks the best, removing distracting elements, enhancing colours and applying their artistic touches to each final image. Many photographers will do all of this before the proof stage, leaving you to marvel at the beauty of your portraits.

As in practically every case, you get what you pay for. Your friend who just started out with their new camera brings great enthusiasm, but a limited tool set as far as posing and finishing. You generally pay little or no session fee and you may get a few prints that make you say “Wow!” The box studio photographer has more training with comfortable and flattering posing, a varied selection of props, more flattering lighting and the instant gratification of immediate proofing. The purchase experience may feel rushed and you may feel pressured to purchase more than you had planned. The backgrounds may change but the lighting remains the same – sometimes leaving you feeling like they have just shown you the same photo but with a different background. The professional photographer, with their complete toolset of comfortable posing, ingenious and flexible lighting styles and refined editing skills will present a variety of images that will make your buying decision difficult due to your desire to have a copy of each print to hang on your wall.

Whom you choose to preserve your family memories in portraits is always your choice. You should never feel pressured or obligated to choose your photographer. Nevertheless, you should make your decision based upon what you want to receive and what you can realistically expect to receive. After all, it’s your walls that these portraits hang on. However, a professional photographer will put as much care into your portraits as they would their own portraits. As a professional photographer, I can say that I take each portrait as if it were destined for my own wall.

How to Get an Amazing Portrait

Portrait is not just a picture hanging on your wall. A true portrait can capture your personality. Every family I know wants to get a family portrait at some point. And if you are one of those people what options do you have?

Find a portrait studio

You could find a large portrait studio. It is an easy and quick solution. However, I always feel that my portrait is something personal, special. For some reason, I want to know the artist who is painting my portrait. I want that artist to be free to paint in his/her own way (not the corporate way).

Find a freelance portrait artist

I think the best way to preserve a memory is to commission a portrait to a professional artist. These are some of the reasons why:

  1. You will get one of a kind portrait, all professional artists have their own style and vision. An independent artists have to have their own unique style because they can not hide behind some big brand. It is the only way for them to be recognized and attract new clients.
  2. Professional artists treat their clients with care since it is their personal reputation that is at stake. They usually want to make you happy with the result, so you might come back for another portrait some day or may be refer your friends.
  3. Artists care about their creations, it is more than just a job for them. When artists work on a painting, they want to create something special and unique. If they feel that there is something missing in a reference photo or something could be added to improve the painting, they will tell you that. They can give you advice on how to make your painting look better. That kind of dedication is hard to get in a large portrait studio.
  4. Every painting has an artist signature on it. That may not seem like a big deal today, but if that artist becomes very famous one day, your portrait might be worth much more than you have paid for it.

Many artists today are creating portraits from photos. It is very convenient for you, since you do not have to go anywhere. You can simply email your favorite photo to an artist and when your painting is ready, it will be shipped to you. The only hard part in this process is to find a good artist. Fortunately, there are many websites that can help you with that.

I hope you will find a great portrait artist for you and your family, and get a truly unique and amazing portrait.

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