Process 1. Photo Taking

Slide Show
Gallery --- About Holly
Pricing --- Framing --- Transfers
Process --- Ordering --- Order Status

Flash Magazine --- BlackLightning

It is very important to start with a photo that you like and that clearly shows the subject. Photos should ideally be at least 4"x6" in size although I have worked from smaller photos on occasion (see Monica B. in the slide show). Smaller photos don't tend to have enough detail. It is great if you can provide multiple photos of the subject. This gives me a better feel for the person. If you do provide more than one photo, please be sure to indicate which one is your main pose and also note any special cropping you may have in mind (e.g. Clayton's vs Walter's portraits.) In some cases I can finish out details that aren't in the original photo, such as the hair on Ben.

The expression is everything. Choose the photo that makes you laugh, the picture that elicits a cherished memory, or the one that captures the person's most characteristic grin. If you're specifically taking photos for the portrait, take lots of photos, preferably with a rapid shooting method. Digital cameras are great for this because many of them have a high speed mode where they can rapidly take many photos which lets you catch a fleeting expression. This is especially helpful with taking children's pictures.

For clothing, simple tends to be best, but don't let that scare you off from a favorite outfit or even a wonderful costume. The clothing may be a part of the story. For Diane and Greg's portrait, they wore their wedding attire which was based on the renaissance period, fancy engraved sword and all. The results were wonderful.

Jewelry also tends to be best when kept simple. But, again, meaning is most important. If there is a particularly special piece of jewelry you love, by all means, wear it for your portrait.

eMail me if you have questions! -Holly

Hollyj@hollygraphicart.com Portraits by Holly
252 Riddle Pond Road, West Topsham, Vermont 05086 USA
(802) 439-6462 M-Th 11a-4p Eastern Time


Six Easy Steps to a Beautiful Portrait...

Photos to Portraits

Here are some key tips for good photos:

  1. Take lots of photos so you can choose the best to have drawn.
  2. Send more than one photo, if possible.
  3. Specify which photo is the main pose.
  4. Include a closeup of the face, if possible.
  5. If there are any special, detailed, items such as jewelry, fancy clothing trim, a sword (see Gregs' in their wedding picture), etc, an additional close up of this item might be very helpful.
  6. Let me know if you have specific thoughts on the cropping.
  7. Digital cameras are great because they let you take a lot of photos to get it right.
  8. Use high speed photo shooting, if available, to catch those fleeting expressions.
  9. Use good lighting - outdoor lighting, especially on an overcast day, is great.
  10. Beware that bright lightning may make the subject squint. If you have a great picture but squinting eyes, another photo clearly showing their eyes would be helpful.
  11. Outdoor photos are ideal
  12. Beware of deep shadows of other things falling across the subject
  13. Think about the angle of the subject. Try taking pictures from a couple of different angles, allowing you to see a bit of the side of the face. A slight angle is often more pleasing.
  14. The special meaning of the photo and personal significance are really the most important factor.

© 2005, BlackLightning, Inc.