There are some photographers who offer their clients images on a disk; however, I believe it’s best to create beautiful fine art prints for my clients. Many of the photographers who offer images on a disk may not know much about how to artfully craft a final printed piece. Some of them are weekend hobbyists and don’t have time to spend on anything but snapping the pictures. They let the client worry about getting prints, and the final quality really suffers when photographs get printed at the local drug store or one hour shop. This type of offer should raise a red flag for anyone who values quality photographs and considers family portraits to be meaningful heirlooms that will last for generations.
There is a lot attention that goes into the creation of a finished portrait compared to the actual taking of the pictures. When I work on a portrait in Photoshop, I think of it in terms of classical painting. I have a huge toolbox of effects and software I rely on to enhance photographs in so many ways. I can control the tone and atmosphere of the setting which compliments the family relationships. I use techniques to uniquely frame and highlight the photograph, and most importantly I lightly re-touch the subjects in the image so they look their familiar best to loved ones.
One of my favorite techniques is to find the most attractive expression for each of the subjects in all of the images, and create the ideal photograph that captures everyone at their best. We call this a “head change” and it’s wonderful because it makes a group picture of everyone perfect! When I find an expression that really enhances the feeling of the overall portrait, it helps tell the story better.
Our portrait finishing is handled by a professional lab for high quality printing. For the past 25 years, I’ve had a close working relationship with my color lab and I have a high level of trust in the work they help me produce. In addition to a well printed image, there are options for dry mounting, UV lacquering that protects the piece and surface treatments that enhance the fine art quality of the image. There are choices for types of paper such as canvas, watercolor, luster, and even metallic. I also help advise on display choices and will mat and frame the work.
By the time the artwork is finished I’ve put my heart into it completely and given families an heirloom they’ll cherish forever. The care, attention to detail and passion I have for creating a beautiful final print is what my clients truly deserve!