Skip to main content

Emily's Fine Art Portrait Shoot

Fine art portraits, what exactly is that you might wonder? I've certainly wondered it myself, particularly when I see this term being bandied about from a variety of photographers, some of whom doing nothing out of the ordinary. Well the dictionary defines Fine Art as the following:
noun
plural noun: fine arts
  1. 1.
    creative art, especially visual art whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content.
  2. 2.
    an activity requiring great skill or accomplishment.

The Fine Art Portrait is trending highly at the moment. This is something that stands out from average photography and gets noticed. In a world where everyone is a photographer its important for me to do something that people will feel is worth paying for. Phones and consumer level camera equipment being rather incredible these days means most people can capture wonderful snaps of their lives and the people in them. So for me hiring a paid professional is really only necessary if they can create something for you that you cannot do yourself. Which is why I believe its important to create something with imagination, beauty and good use of light relying on great skills that the average person does not have. I have spent years building these skills and countless hours continually honing my creativity so that I can provide pieces of art that can grace the walls of my clients for many years to come. 
I've also been collecting ideas and elements for these Fine Art sessions for years now. In Pinterest I've collected poses and lighting ideas, at car boots I've collected dresses, tops, scarves and pearls and at antiques fairs I've collected props and anything that grabs my attention really. I've been using much of it for a while now but it was this shoot that I finally used some of the clothes I've been collecting for older children and I concentrated on creating a truly Fine Art Portrait.
Emily arrived not really knowing what would happen but I would assume she expected the usual big smiles kind of posing, which she gave me instantly while I took test shots to assess the lighting. I had to explain that smiling wasn't essential for this session. As we went along Emily seemed to understand quite quickly and we got everything I wanted and more.
It's odd I know, that someone could want and even prefer portraits without smiles. But this is something I've loved for such a long time. Although I adore photographs of a smiling and happy child or baby there is something that draws me more to a thoughtful, less obviously happy portrait. I will linger longer on a portrait of this nature. Perhaps it tells us more of the person or more of a story, I don't know. But it is certainly more appealing as a piece of wall art than the big smiles sort in my opinion.
And I have to say that these images you are seeing digitally, possibly on a very small screen do not come close to the impact they have as a large printed wall piece. When you see them printed and hanging on a wall it is then that you can really appreciate them as a piece of art.
Thats not to say I don't do smiles. These are included in all sessions where possible. Its just that the subtle smile or the non smiley ones seem to have more of an impact for me. And for shy children or moody teenagers it helps to tell them they don't have to smile for the camera.  This also alleviates any cheesy smiles they've been practicing before the session.
Something else I've been toying with lately is the Moving Portrait. I came across this not long ago and I absolutely love it. As a photographer I capture a single moment in time. Ultimately this is what I want to do. I have no interest in video. However, the moving portrait gives just that bit more of a glimpse into our subject. As a memory I think it adds value. I certainly don't want this to replace the still portrait but I do love the idea as an add on, in addition to the printed portrait. I'm still developing my skills and working out the lighting for these. I can't use flash in video so I am currently limited in how I light these and this is an entirely new skill so I'm still working on this concept. Here's an example.


This type of session is probably my favourite of all. I so enjoy working with one person, particularly a child who's of an age where they can understand and be patient for this sort of thing. Although I've always said I prefer a variety of different shoots and of course I still do, this type of session wins out just a little over the rest. Editing these portraits has been a pure joy also. Its times like this when I truly love my job.
If you would like a session such as this please do get in touch. I'd love to do more of this work. You can reach me on 01455 611069, follow this link to our contact us page on our website, or send me a message via our Facebook page here. You are welcome to come in for a free consultation as well so that you get the chance to see large printed portraits in person so you can see for yourself what an incredible impact they have. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Never Work With Children or Animals

Or so the saying goes. But I have to say that working with dogs has been so lovely. They have been almost entirely a dream to work with. I say almost entirely because we have had a few moments where a dog has needed to settle. And one moment where the dog had settled but one of my cats decided to have a look through the glass door which, as you can imagine, rather quickly unsettled the dog. Still, that didn't stop us from creating incredible work.

In fact it was during that shoot with the cat instance when I created two of my favourite pieces, shown below.


(It was while sitting on the couch here when he noticed the cat peering through the curtain)
I don't know if I've just been lucky or all dogs are just easy to work with. I photographed a french bull dog puppy and I thought that would be tough as he hadn't had time to be properly trained yet. But he did everything we wanted in no time at all. And this included the props we used here (below), which to me seemed somewha…

Family Portraits with Fine Art Flair

I have a love and hate relationship with family portraits. I love the finished piece and creating something that is truly special to the family. I love that in years to come something I made is going to be a cherished and valueable memento for this family. What I struggle with, is getting all members of the group to look their best at exactly the same moment in time. You would be surprised at how difficult this actually is, particularly when it comes to 6 children. But I always get there in the end, whether it is the luck of a moment or with the aid of Photoshop. I ensure that everyone in the portrait is looking their best, even the dog.


Seeing as this family is actually made up now of two families we also did portraits in their respective groups which I chose to do in different style to their main group. I love adding a bit of style for the overall main group and what you see above is something that is proving popular with my clients. I love adding props and giving a sort of Vanity F…

Its a Dog's Life

When life gets tough I always look at dogs or my cats and think how lucky they are. I know not all are treated well but those lucky enough to be in a good home, like the ones who come into my studio, have a really great life. They look so happy and its a wonderful thing to see. 

I honestly love photographing dogs. They are a joy to work with and its almost impossible to produce a bad portrait of a dog which does of course make my life a little easier. I am someone who really needs to love the work I create. I can't help but love the portraits I've created of all the dogs I've photographed over the years. And this shoot was certainly no exception.


I found it a real pleasure using a lighter background this time too. I do often gravitate towards darker looks but seeing as this dog had a light coloured coat I thought I'd produce lighter images. This gave me the chance to use a canvas I painted a couple of years ago but never really used and I absolutely love it now. I don…

A Most Wonderful Portrait Session with 3 Lovely Ladies

This was a dream session for me. Not only did I have 3 beautiful young ladies, but they also brought with them a fantastic wardrobe and their very own hair stylist too (mum owns her own salon). So all the elements for beautiful portraits were there. And I was thrilled to get this opportunity.


Its easy to think of having portraits when you have a new baby or when you get married or have a special family occasion where you get the entire family portrait done. But its less often that people think of having their growing children photographed. After all I suppose, they are photographed at school. I even do some of those school photographs. However, those portraits are made in less than a minute per child and they are assembly line style portraits while they are wearing their school uniform. They are never going to be as special as what can be created with unlimited time and outfit changes in the comfort of a private studio.


Its in this environment that I can take the time to talk to the …

Do You Have a Little Pirate in Your Family?

If so, why not capture it in a beautiful portrait so you can cherish these memories forever?


I designed and built this set for a client. She came to me with a son and daughter and during the consultation we discussed the interests of the children, as I always do. Our ideas for portraits for her daughter were going to be easy. She loved the idea of modelling pretty dresses so her shoot was sorted. Her son on the other hand was more difficult. Where ever possible I try to incorporate something about the children into each portrait. That can mean books, sports, dance, musical instruments or anything a person has an interest in. In this case he hadn't yet developed any interests, other than pirates.


Now my client didn't want me to go to too much trouble. We agreed it wouldn't be easy to make anything pirate themed look as though it fit my style and level of quality. A shop bought costume wasn't going to cut it. But I just had to try. I love dark wood in my portraits and I …