Thursday, October 10, 2013

Conceptual Portraiture

There is something to be said for tradition. It's time honored, it's always classy, and it lasts because it works. Here's the problem...tradition can also become stale.

There are a million wonderful traditional portraits of people and families out there. You can see them everywhere from living room walls to Facebook. They are nicely posed, well lit, and filled with smiling faces that say absolutely nothing about the family being photographed.

Don't get me wrong, as I said before, a traditional portrait will never go out of style because it works. I take traditional portraits and I have them hanging in my home. They are wonderful for the family having them taken and also as a treasure to pass to on to future generations who will know us only by our image.
However, traditional style portraits, FAMILY portraits in particular, are becoming old hat. They don't show the spirit of a family. They show what the members of a family looked like at a particular period in their lives. For the most part, one family portrait looks very much like another. Switch the faces around, and one would never know the difference.

As an artist, that is what I would like to change in my approach to portraiture.

On a previous post, I shared some images from a zombie apocalypse style family photo shoot. The composition of the images is fairly similar in style to other family portraits, but absolutely different in content. The family that posed for those photos is fun, a bit quirky, and they like to take risks. They had a blast at the photo shoot (so did I, for that matter) and the images ended up very unique.
In conceptual portraiture, every image will be unique. It will showcase not only the particular character of the artist (that would be me *wink*), but also the irreplaceable combination of individuals meshing together tastes and talents and characteristics that no other family possesses. Each family is one-of-a-kind and their portraits should be, too.

I would love to be able to approach photographing families and individuals using conceptual portraiture. I want to sit down with people, talk about what their interests are and who they are as a family, and then come up with a creative concept to style the photos in such a way that the end results really speak to who they are as a unit.

Think of it like this:

Is your daughter a princess who rules the house like a tyrant? Let's create that!
Is your son a little monster who is on top of the fridge one minute and leaping out the window the next? Let's turn that into a photo!
When you read to your kids at night, does the fantasy come to life in the room around you? Let's capture that!
Does your family set off on adventures like the Swiss Family Robinson? Or does a simple game of Monopoly turn you all into monsters?
Let's take those metaphors that describe your family and turn them into pieces of art.
This way, when the photos are finished, you don't merely have a record of facial features, you have a piece of art that honors who your family is.

As an artist, I find it immensely fulfilling. As a mom and a wife, I would be thrilled to have my sons' wild spirits and my families goofy, good-natured affection captured and printed.

If you're interested in having a one-of-a-kind piece of art that features your unique family, check out my Casting page here on the blog. I've got a few ideas listed there, and if you think your family fits one of those ideas, or if you have a plan all your own, then get a hold of me! I want to take the "sit down and say cheese" element OUT of my portraiture and turn it into an experience that you and your family fondly remember every time you look at your artwork.

I would LOVE to create with you. 

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