For the longest time I was afraid to pair my photography services with the word “artistic” simply because I feel it’s a fairly vague, subjective term, especially when it comes to photography. At the very onset of its inception, people debated whether photography could even be considered an art! However, now that my portfolio has came into its own, I can see why “artistic portraits” is an accurate description of the service and imagery I provide, and why it’s important now for potential clients to see this as well!
More than just a way to get food on the table and a roof over my head, every facet of this business is an expression of my own artistic sensibilities – for instance, even on this website, the colors, fonts and imagery I decide to present are all expressions of my taste. Most importantly, the portraits I choose for my gallery all attempt to express the emotions during that particular fraction of a second. Through the creative considerations of composition, lighting, texture and shape, each little piece of every photo is meant to build upon this goal in an aesthetically pleasing yet truthful way. Rather than just the finished project, the entire process of finding potential clients, photographing them and editing the images afterwards becomes an artistic endeavor because of this mindset and vision.
This artistic portrait is a great example, and is one of my favorites in my family gallery:
I prefer this image in black and white because of the nostalgic, timeless quality it creates. Shapes and textures also stand out more in black and white, and I wanted viewers’ eyes to focus on the image of father, daughter and husband venturing out into the water – the colors didn’t matter so much with that in mind. The birds weren’t actually there in this photo, but in another, similar one – I added them in Photoshop later because it added to the nostalgia and whimsy that I wanted to convey.
Compared to that photo, this one is the exact opposite:
I kept this one in color (and actually upped the saturation in Lightroom a little, too) because I loved the complementary combination of bright green and red, along with the sunny yellow of her shirt. This grandma has such a funny, sweet and upbeat disposition, and I loved how the colors of the photograph communicated this along with her smiling face. It was drizzling throughout that shoot, but aside from their umbrellas, you would never know it. I feel that many photographers would not have even attempted editing this photo because it doesn’t feature the entire family – she isn’t posing or pausing; she simply stopped and smiled at me. But because I was considering the emotions of that day and saw the way the aesthetic elements melded with the subject’s personality, it became an artistic portrait.
If I had less of an artistic viewpoint, I probably would have edited all of the images from these family portrait sessions in a similar manner. I’m sure the families would have been just as happy with the final results, but this careful approach to each session and each photograph is what I enjoy the most!