Portrait of a Historical Phenomenon

A picture speaks a thousand words, and capturing a moment in time with our family can give us hours upon hours of wonderful memories. A family portrait is an heirloom, a legacy, and each tells a story about our nearest and dearest.

Children are growing up faster and faster, and getting all the family together for a family portrait while they are young and still at home enables us to keep the family altogether, long after the children have flown the nest.

Archaeological evidence shows that the art of taking a portrait dates back to pre-historic times and ancient civilizations, particularly the rulers of ancient Egypt. Over the centuries, portraits were painted on all kinds of materials including stone, clay, metal, plaster, wood, and even ivory.

Before the invention of photography, portrait paintings were for the rich and powerful, and recorded the status and position of notable figures in society; they were traditionally created in oil paints. Over time it became popular for the middle-classes to commission portraits of families or loved ones. Today it is the likes of governments, corporations, clubs and individuals that are keeping the trend of portrait paintings alive.

The popularity of photography in the 19th century made portraits a cheaper and more accessible option for the masses, and has been our preferred mode of capturing moments on print ever since.

These days the trend for an official, composed family portrait makes for a true family keepsake. It’s a great investment that can be passed down from generation to generation. Many local professional photographers offer a session at a studio or will even come to your home. Online companies, like Venture, offer many different kinds of styles of portraits to suit all tastes and homes – from the traditional, relaxed family pose, to fun, offbeat images.

An emerging trend is to have a favourite family photo turned into a work of art. Working from the print, artists can recreate the image as an oil painting, ensuring it will last for an eternity. Alternatively you can have a photograph printed onto canvas, to make a really contemporary work of art. Either of these can be an innovative and apprecatied gift for a parent or grandparent.

Alternatively, if we need something less formal and a lot cheaper, taking our own family snaps is the natural option. The digital age has enabled us to become much better photographers, and we have the freedom to take as many shots as our digital camera’s memory card allows. Using on-line resources, we can edit and enhance until our heart’s content, download them onto a memory stick and slot images into our digital photo frames, thus creating constant reminders of those special memories with our beloved family.

Commissioning a family portrait will not only grant some quality time with our loved ones but will provide us with a unique way to keep our precious family memories alive.