Photography of Subject

Michelle Snead Portrait Artist of Raleigh, North Carolina

Michelle prefers to take the photographs of the subject herself and includes the photo session in the cost of the portrait. This gives her a chance to interact with families and individuals and observe them closely. Normally she will take photos in different poses and settings so that she and the client can determine what will make the best painting. Plan on allowing a minimum of two hours for the session. It may take longer with children who need frequent breaks due to a short attention span. Outdoor photographs present greater challenges because the weather is not always cooperative, and lighting situations change dramatically within a short period of time. Michelle normally takes these photos in the late afternoon or the earlier part of the morning. If desired, the subject can have photographs taken both indoors and outdoors if they are not sure about the setting preferred.

During the process, Michelle and the client will view the images on location to determine if the reference photos are suitable. If not, there will be additional shots. Together they will narrow down the choices. After returning home, Michelle will have the best photographs printed, and she will thoroughly review them. She will recommend which photographs will make a good portrait by either meeting again with the client, or by mailing the images back with thorough explanations if her subject is not local.

Many times several photographs will be combined to capture the desired effect. After the painted portrait is complete, Michelle gives all the photographic references to the client on a CD. When the commission is within a fifty mile radius, there is no additional cost for any photography. Should the client live in an area farther away, then standard mileage is billed if the distance is within four hours. If flights are required, the client is billed at the artist’s cost.

In some instances, Michelle will use other photographer’s images. The posthumous portrait is completed in this manner. There are other situations where clients wish to use a photograph taken years earlier in the life of the subject. If the photographs are high quality, this may be possible, but Michelle insists on seeing the reference photographs before taking on any commissions completed this way. She will need to have the original photographer’s written permission in order not to violate copyright laws. She will turn down the commission if she feels that she cannot paint an excellent portrait from the materials provided.

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