Homepage Family Portrait Creating Your Portrait

1. WALKING YOU THROUGH THE CREATIVE PROCESS

Step I: The Consultation
Doug and Sally conduct this initial consultation. In this personal interview we work with you to determine your particular preference regarding the style and type of photography to be created. This conference will cover all aspects of your portrait session. At the conclusion of this consultation, a general agreement is made and a date is set for your portrait session. Issues which are usually decided at this time are who, what, where, and when type of questions. You may have additional questions regarding choices of style and color for your wardrobe, props, jewelry, and makeup, this appointment is the best time to cover these important components. This conference is one of the key elements in pre-planning the specific design, color scheme, and location of the portrait in your home. The more specific you are about the placement and final look of your portrait (before photography has taken place), the easier the entire process becomes.

Step II: The Photography Session—A Fun Experience!
Whether formal or casual, with children or alone, at your home, or some other location, the actual photography session is a fun and entertaining process. Doug and Sally excel in making subjects of any age relax and forget they are being photographed. Our ability to communicate, entertain, and even at times to perform for children never fails to break through that rigid “posed look” barrier. Perhaps you never enjoyed having your picture taken in the past because the results were always disappointing and less than flattering. We have the ability to help you relax. At the same time we know how to capture those precious, fleeting moments which reveal personality. The results are photographs with natural expressions and tremendous emotional appeal. Our unique style of team shooting combined with our keen eye for composition, light, and color may be the reason we have accumulated such a loyal following among our past clients.

Step III: The Projection Method of Seeing Your Previews.
Approximately one-two weeks following your portrait session you will view a unique show. It’s a show in which you, and/or your family are the Star! Your images will be presented in a multi-projector slide show. This experience is often a moving and wonderful phase of your portrait’s creation. Please note, however: it is vitally important that all parties that have a final and direct role in the decision making process be present for the projection. Second projections can be arranged but, you will receive your best prices on portraits at your first projection. The Projection Presentation is designed specifically to assist you in selecting the images which you desire. It takes some time to accomplish this. You should allow one-two hours. We strongly urge that you not include infants or very young children at the projection as you will find them short on patience, and very distracting. During this step in the process we try to consider everything pertaining to your final order. This includes such details as the number of prints, size, final retouching, framing and planned delivery date. A minimum fifty percent (50%) deposit for all orders is required at this time.

Step IV: Presentation of Finished Portraits and Frame Selection
The Final Step! We’ve come to deliver your finished portrait. Because of the many complex steps involved, the presentation of finished portraits requires about six weeks. Those steps include: retouching, print finishing, and other tests. From start to finish, from the day of the portrait session to final delivery, please allow a minimum of six - eight weeks.
Now is also the perfect time to make your frame selection. Seeing the right frame on your portrait is as important to us as any other step in the process of delivering a finished work of art. You can choose your frame based on our wide selection of styles. A custom hand-crafted frame will be made to order and often can be ready for you to pick up when your final print is delivered. We like to think of it as putting the icing on the cake.

2. HELPING YOU PREPARE FOR THE PORTRAIT SESSION
The Choice of Background
One of the key elements of your portrait is the location and choice of background. Both location and lighting are essential considerations. They determine the overall look and feel of a portrait. Portraits can be created in a studio like environment with very controlled lighting, or they can be done in a natural outdoor setting with nature providing the light. Both can be magnificent. For example, a setting done in the soft warm glow of the late afternoon’s golden sunlight against a pastel violet sky can be spectacular. Alternately, an image done in the “studio” style, illuminated with the same classic sculptured lighting of the Old Masters then combined with a glimpse of an antique chair and a feeling of soft brush strokes in the background can be equally powerful. Because we are blessed to live in such a diverse and naturally beautiful environment there are many outdoor locations. Most are only a short drive from us. For example a beautiful beach is within an hour’s drive. Doug and Sally always “scout” the location for ideal angles, and best times of day for the light. The seasonal changes here offer subtle colors, and beautiful texture. All this is considered before deciding on the location, and background for your portraits. Virtually anything is possible so don’t hesitate to ask if you have an idea or a location you would like to try.

Props
While not necessary to make a strong portrait, sometimes props contribute to make a portrait more personal. They can suggest a story, or a theme that is meaningful to the family. Items such as musical instruments, a tea set, Grandma’s quilt, a christening gown, a treasured piece of jewelry, or any such heirloom, could add a special feeling to the portrait. Many people feel their pets are part of the family, and we welcome them. They just require the right planning and proper setting. Again, please don’t hesitate to ask regarding any idea you may have. We encourage your creativity and personal inspiration.

Wardrobe
Another key element contributing to the final look and style of your portrait is what you wear. For that reason we like to be very involved in the selection of wardrobe. (Please see Step II in the Creative Process List). Because you want your images to be Timeless, and not appear dated y current fashions, select choices which are simple, and classic. The most beautiful portraits are often those done with the most understated wardrobe. Avoid especially eye-catching patterns, colors, and prints. Solids work best. Simple all white, black, or muted solid colors work especially well. Bright colors like red and yellow are too dominant, and tend to take over the picture. The idea is to make you the most important element in the portrait, not the clothes. Jewelry can contribute to making a statement, but in general a small item or two is adequate. Of course, if a family heirloom is part of the concept in your portrait feel free to wear it. But remember, we want to convey a clean and uncluttered image. If you are in doubt, please feel free to ask about any item of clothing or jewelry. As a rule of thumb, 3/4 or long sleeves work best for both ladies and men. Your clothing should fit comfortably. Avoid clothes that restrict movement, or sitting positions. For example, Doug and Sally may ask that you try sitting on the carpet or lawn, or on the edge of a chair to get an attractive angle. Looser fitting clothes will make this easier for you. Again, remember the color formula, avoid bright, or busy patterns, and extreme contrasts in one outfit (like a white blouse and a black skirt). Solids work best. The same applies to sweaters, sports coats, etc.... Using like or complementary colors will make a large group blend together, and create a feeling of family, and togetherness. Preferably, no one person should stand out due to color or
style of clothes. (Unless, of course, you want them to.) Ideally, all colors should blend harmoniously.
While it is true that dramatic effects can sometimes be achieved by “breaking the rules”, (an example of which would be, combining black and white in the same image), it should only be done with considerable thought and planning with us.

Hair styles
Hair should be styled and groomed in a manner that is completely natural to you. Just before your portrait session is not the time to experiment with a new look, such as a major change in styling or color. Bear in mind that you want your portrait to represent you and your family for years to come. We sometimes have a tendency to over groom our children. Try to keep young boy’s and girl’s hair natural, and not overly perfect. Also, it is always a good idea to bring your own brushes, hair-sprays, and a small mirror for last minute touch-ups. Hair should be clean, neatly arranged, and combed so as not to cover the eyes. Young girls look especially pretty very often, with a little hair clip, bow, or hair band. Both men and boys should avoid the “just cut” look by having hair trimmed a week or so before the sitting. Men should be clean shaven. If facial hair is part of their style, it should be neatly trimmed.

Make-up
We have artists that we use on a regular basis that understand the difference between street make-up and make-up done for photography. If you use their services, arrangements should be made at the initial consultation and a separate retainer is required.
If you decide to do your own, here are some tips. Ladies’ eye shadow should be applied lightly, and with care. The center of greatest interest in a portrait is the subject’s eyes. Do at least one application of mascara on both upper and lower lashes. Use your normal foundation. Sometimes it is beneficial to increase the amount you would normally use by about ten percent. Be sure to blend very well and avoid obvious demarcation or tan lines. It is a good idea to bring your make-up with you in case any additional application or changes are necessary at the portrait session.
Because this is a portrait, and not a “fashion” type of look, we recommend you just follow your normal make-up routine and not become overly dramatic. If you have any questions about shades of make-up or application please feel free to ask. Children and men require little or no make-up. Clean natural skin is the main requirement. Again if in doubt, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Glasses
Glasses, because of their reflective and magnifying characteristics can distort your eyes and the facial lines of your face. A good way to solve this problem is either not to wear them or have your optician supply you with a similar frame as your own, but without lenses. Contact lenses, of course, present no problem at all.

3. TYPES OF FINISHES AVAILABLE
Selection of the style, size, and type of finish, are some of the most important decisions you will make concerning your finished portrait. Its final look and feel will be a direct result of these important choices The most enduring and striking finish for your prints is without a doubt our Master Portrait. It is created in multiple steps, but is recognized primarily by the effect that occurs through the bonding of a finished photograph to an artist’s quality canvas. This blending of photography and the painter’s art results in a captivating image which contains the essence of a painting and the realism of a photograph. Of course, it takes a discriminating artist’s eye, and judgment to capture, or create the lighting and composition which this technique demands. Simply bonding any old photograph to a canvas will not result in the fantastic look of an On Location Creations’ canvas. In addition, the canvas finish does allow for certain finishing retouching which involves some “painting” on the canvas when necessary to darken or color certain areas. Please note: Retouching is considered on a picture by picture basis. Each portrait must be analyzed to determine if a particular technique will work. The final step is the application of protective spray coatings, which help to seal the dyes, and protect the canvas from moisture and ultraviolet light. The Master Portrait represents our most elegant and popular line of color portraits. The other type of photo-finishing available is our Presentation Portrait which is a color print done on photographic paper. You are probably familiar with a paper finish. Generally they are appropriate for smaller size images of 8x10 or less, and done on a light pebble textured paper. We always retouch the original negatives at no extra charge to assure the best possible print, whether on canvas or paper. Another consideration, which is increasingly coming back into popularity, is the beautiful and artistic Black and White Print. Here again, we offer some choices in the type of finish. The Silver Relief Black & White Print has been, and continues to be the exhibition standard for the photographic arts. We offer three types of finishes in this category. The most frequently displayed exhibition quality print is the Archival Fiber Print. This beautiful finish renders the full spectrum of the “grey scale” (A photographic term denoting the range between black without any detail to white without any detail.), and can be toned to achieve a wonderful patina. This finish also lends itself well to hand tinting with oils and/or water colors for a very unique look. We highly recommend This beautiful finish. Another even more beautiful type of finish is the Platinum Print. This rare and alluring type of finish was used by some of the early innovators of photography. The use of the base metal platinum, results in an unsurpassed range of tones which are truly luminescent. Of course, today, this metal is very expensive. Prints rendered in this style must be quoted on an individual basis. However, for the most discriminating customer, a portrait in Platinum makes a statement unmatched by any other medium. In addition to the above types of Black and White finishes there is a less expensive and commonly used finish called resin coated paper. It is perfect for smaller sized multiple prints, especially used in newspaper, business reports, head-shots, or for any type of publication.

4. STUDIO POLICIES
To promote customer satisfaction and avoid misunderstandings, we would like to provide you with a few simple standard guidelines. We have found that these practices benefit all parties, and assure clear communications. Upon your initial consultation and decision to have On Location Creations do your portraits you will be asked to pay a retainer fee just as you may do with other professionals as part of “goodwill”. This retainer will guarantee Doug and Sally’s time for a portrait session. A portion of this money applies directly to your session fee. Any balance in excess of your session fee will be applied to your print order. Portrait sessions are confirmed one week in advance. If you need to reschedule an appointment, you will need to do so at least one week before your scheduled appointment or you will forfeit your deposit. This policy helps to insure that the time spent with you is the most productive-quality time possible and results in the most satisfying relationships.

Portrait Session Policy
Very often, as a result of meeting with you at least once prior to your portrait session, there is a spirit of friendship and fun that quickly develops during the actual portrait session. We understand that at events where the family is gathered together and having a good time; you may be tempted to pull out your own camera to record the unfolding events. We do not mind you doing so. All we ask is that you not interfere with our interaction with the subject (s) currently in front of the camera; and, that you refrain from trying to photograph our poses. You hired us to do that.

Making Your Print Selections
To aid you in the process of choosing the best images for prints we provide the “Slide Presentation System” referred to in the Five Step Creative Process List, (See Step IV), at the beginning of this guide. This system allows us to project your portraits in all available sizes, and you can actually see how they appear in your home in relation to size and image proportion. The benefit to you in this system is that it eliminates guess work in your final size selection since images appear to have different qualities when enlarged. By actually seeing the images projected in the size you prefer, you are able to experience the power and impact of the portrait as it will appear in your home. This method of selection gives you complete confidence in your choices of both size and finish.

Ownership of Images
Please note that all original film materials, including negatives, slides and prints are copyrighted and the property of On Location Creations. We reserve the right to use any images for display advertising, publication, competitions, or other purposes. Technically, by copyright law, all images remain the exclusive property of On Location Creations and any reproduction, or attempt to reproduce them without express written consent from On Location Creations is prohibited.

Payment Schedule
Due to the custom nature of our product we ask that you pay a 50% (fifty percent) deposit on your final order at the conclusion of your projection-slide presentation. The remaining balance is due upon completion of the work. Because of our limited storage space and for insurance reasons, completed orders must be accepted within 30 (thirty) days of notification. Portraits stored longer than thirty days may be subject to storage fees. We accept cash, checks, MasterCard, and Visa.

Please note that every effort will be made to insure that your images are handled with proper care and necessary caution. However, if due to circumstances beyond our control, damage or loss occurs to your images, On Location Creations is limited in liability for only the return of deposits made prior to the loss, or damage. Fees Structure Explained The total investment you make in your portraits will reflect two basic charges. The first is for the actual photography “session”, and second is the cost of the prints. The explanation of these services and print charges is as follows.

The Portrait Session Fee is the nominal charge we apply to the actual photography session. It includes primarily the time and materials used in creating your images. A photography session can typically go one-two hours, and may run slightly longer, or shorter depending on a variety of factors. For example, children have a built in time clock, and after a certain amount of time they are simply too tired or distracted to go on. This is perfectly natural, and we always work within the child’s limits. As mentioned before, your Session Fee is included in your retainer, and is paid in advance of the session. The Session Fee is based on the location of the session. (There is a slightly higher fee for shooting at a location which requires the photographer to travel over 60 [sixty] miles, one way.) At the time of this printing the Session Fees for a sitting within the sixty mile radius is $100.00. Additional sittings, which may be added to a specific site location, or go beyond the sixty mile limit, will be quoted on an individual basis. The cost of the prints ordered including size, type of finish, and the quantity of prints, all factor into the final total investment. Bear in mind that this type of fee structure allows you the greatest freedom in choosing your final product, and in determining the final cost. There is no required number of prints, or kind of finishes that you must buy. Everything is “a la carte” and is your choice. Your investment will vary with the size, quantity, and style of the finish. Since photographic print prices can change, please inquire at the pre-sitting consultation for current price quotes on specific sizes and styles of portraits.

5. ON LOCATION CREATIONS REFERRAL PROGRAM
We have received many wonderful comments from our satisfied customers. Quite often a friend, neighbor, or relative of a client will call to have a portrait done because they saw a portrait at that person’s home or at work and loved it. We like to reward our clients who refer others to us. Our referral program works like this. If anyone commissions a portrait as a result of your recommendation we will show our appreciation to you with a $100.00 credit. After your fifth referral has booked with us, your credit amount will automatically double. So you would have $1000.00 in credit. You may apply this credit towards the purchase of future prints or future portrait sessions for you or your family. Simply ask your referral to name you as “how they heard about us” when they call to inquire about having a portrait done. As an extra insurance that you get the credit for the referral, call us and tell us who you have given your recommendation to. We will be sure to make a record of their name. If they commission a portrait we will notify you immediately. We think it is a winning combination, and shows our appreciation too.

6. CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
Congratulations! You have read a comprehensive outline detailing how we work, and all the steps to achieve your goal— a magnificent portrait. I can assure you that your active involvement and dedication in this process will pay big dividends. Our sincerest desire is to provide you with the highest level of quality product and service. We also hope you find the process enjoyable, and, that we both come away from the experience with a new addition to our circle of friends.We believe the simplest of things are usually our most abiding memories. A fleeting moment taken from the present and preserved for future memories. An original portrait is the perfect means for capturing these moments, making it a most remarkable gift that we can give to ourselves and others. A portrait, as an object of art, radiates beauty and style. As a symbol of mutual relationships, it can touch heartstrings or uplift our spirit. As a remembrance, it can portray the look of places and faces we hold closest to us.
The creative experience of producing a portrait is unique, almost unlike any other in your life. We use our talent, refined over the years to make your portrait a one of a kind original. We do not resort to easy formulas. Our goal, isto have you slip off the mask we often present to the world, if only for a second or two, because what is revealed is that common thread we all share -- our humanity and love. We want you to display this work or art with pride, knowing that it eloquently communicates how special you are not only to your family, but for all who happen to view it, now and in the future.
There are many decisions and choices to be made, but rest assured we are here to guide you every step of the way. Whether you prefer formal, or informal, a classic or contemporary feeling, a romantic, or realistic mood, we can recommend the best approach and location for the setting. Sally & Doug Warner, owners of On Location Creations, have over twenty years of experience in “creating the moment” for an exciting and timeless result.

Thank you for visiting us, we look forward to working with you!

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