Saturday, February 6, 2016

How does it all work?

I am often asked about the process of how my sessions work. There is a lot that goes in to making my portraits and I do my best to explain the steps. My approach is pretty straightforward, and what is hard to convey is how my style and sensibilities figure in to my work. Here I'll go through the steps and explain how they play into the grand scheme of the final outcome. 


When speaking to a client for the first time,  I always try to get sense of which of my portraits they are drawn to. In this instance, it was this portrait of Henry that I did a few years ago. They had a staircase and hallway in their own house that they wanted to use.



I took a trip to my client's house and we decided on a background. As you can see, the background in both portraits are similar, yet different. This is important to me because I really want to create something unique and special for everyone that I work with.


This also is a good chance to get acquainted with the owners, and especially my subject, before the day of the session.
                                               
Next weekend, the session takes place and Colby is here to greet us. Lisa joined me to lend a hand  and took great behind the scenes images. 




It's set up time, and here, I am positioning my lights and checking my settings.  



So our set is lit and almost ready. I look to see if there is anything that could be distracting in our set. I thought that the radiator was an issue and moving the couch in front helped minimize it. I always do a separate image of the background, just in case we need to change the subject's size or position. 



It's a bit of a waiting game as things settle down. I'm in position and Colby's attention is on her owner, Tessa. The fact that she has plenty of treats on hand goes along way!


There are a lot near misses but it's part of the plan. Curt and Tessa switch out and I am ready to capture the right moments. 

Generally, I do a series of 10-15 images and review when I feel like we have something that captures my subject's personality. I rely heavily upon Tessa & Curt's opinion because they know Colby's archetypal look. They had a really good reaction to the images, and we did a few extras just in case.

Here are some their selects that I sent few days later.



While Tessa & Curt were choosing their favorite images, I started the post work on their background. This process is very involved drawn out. I make a few changes, stop and come back in few hours or days to see how I feel those changes that I have made. 

Meanwhile, I hear back about Tessa & Curt's final select image. We have a really great angle of him and his attention is completely on his owners.

This is the final portrait, and has a couple of very minor changes from the first version that I emailed Tessa & Curt. The next step is to have a canvas made and for them to have it framed where they can enjoy it for years to come. I'll do a followup post once Colby's portrait is installed. 

I think that this gives a pretty good overview of how my process works but, if you have any questions please let me know!

Thank you Tessa, Curt, Colby & Lisa for such a great experience!






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It's a rainy day and a great time to check out my portraits, and book your session. Click on the link in my bio for commission info....