HOW TO CHOOSE A PHOTO
Candid and relaxed photographs make the best family portrait paintings.
Here are four ideas to keep in mind when choosing a photo.
I can help! Send me your photos and we can choose together.
Especially with several people gathered together, it can be better to use a candid, relaxed snapshot (one where people are talking or interacting with each other beforehand) rather than the best posed portrait (one where everyone smiled dutifully when you said "cheese!"). Photos with everyone smiling and facing the camera are perfect for holiday cards, but can seem lifeless and static as a painting. Look at the "out-takes"!
TAKEN BETWEEN FORMAL POSES
On the way to getting the perfect shot, we take a lot of photos, and although some of these aren't quite successful as photographs, they can have a dramatic quality that can make a powerful painting. I hope to find mood, energy, composition, dramatic lighting, an interaction that tells a story, or a revealing facial expression. (I can work with source images that are a bit blurry, have cluttered backgrounds, or have other aesthetic issues.)
IN OTHERWISE IMPERFECT SCENES
I always aim to capture the likeness of my subjects, so I want to work from a photograph that reveals something specific and meaningful about them. That's why I paint my subjects with natural expressions, caught in the transitional moments between posed moments, when they are acting like themselves. Our actions say a lot about us as people -- whether we are walking, dancing, or eating ice cream.
COMMON SCENES WITH ACTION, MOVEMENT, OR SENTIMENT
Keeping all this in mind, take some time to look through your collection of photos and see if you can choose a few potential images. If you are able to share multiple photos with me, I can get a better idea of your artistic goals, and I can let you know which ones I think will be most successful as a painting. Open up your imagination, and your photo library, and we can choose a meaningful, beautiful, compellingly artistic image together.
HAVE several PHOTOS AS options FOR YOUR PAINTING
It was cute when they smiled for the camera, but too stiff for a painting; in the candid shot they are experiencing the emotion and magic of the moment
Despite dim lighting, both photos have dramatic visual elements to make powerful paintings
I looked through a whole wedding's worth of photos before choosing one as the primary source