Portrait Procedure

With a goal to achieve a glorious and intimate portrait, Mr. Chambers plunges his heart and soul into his portraits. “We’re not dealing with barns here, but a life and soul,” Tim says, “My aim is to know my subject, for therein lies the spice to take an ordinary portrait to one that truly celebrates the person.” Familiarity of the subject through personal interaction moves Tim’s creations from being a mere likeness to one that elicits the ‘Oohs and ahhs!’ and wonderment from those who view it. It’s an invigorating process! So, what’s in store for you once you embark on the portrait adventure? Let’s talk a peek at Tim’s procedure:

  1. Acquaintance:  The process begins with a phone call between you and Tim. This discussion clarifies your expectations, purpose for the portrait, attire, location, and any other questions you may have prior in preparation for a sitting. The time and location of the sitting is scheduled, and travel arrangements made. For posthumous portraits, plans are made to collect all photographic references of the subject, including videos, that will help Tim to become familiar with the subject.
  2. Sitting Prep:  Upon arrival Tim makes acquaintances with the subject (and family for personal portraits). Tim is already beginning to ‘paint’ your portrait, taking a plethora of mental notes as he seeks to know his subject. He surveys the location considering the lighting and background for the portrait, whether it be indoors or outdoors. He prefers to work by natural light if at all possible, but has artificial lighting equipment available if needed. Tim doesn’t require anything of his subject until the sitting location is prepared; he wants his subjects fresh for the sitting. The next step is to decide on the best pose for the subject, considering the subject’s personality as well as any perimeters for the portrait set by the client.
  3. Sitting: When Tim is satisfied with the pose and composition for the portrait, he begins taking his reference photographs for the portrait. The session usually lasts approximately 45 minutes.
  4. Proofing:  Tim reviews the sitting photographs with the client, either on site immediately after the sitting, or via the internet (Tim’s website). By process of elimination, we narrow down the poses and facial expressions to a few ideal compositions while Tim notes your preferences, plus anecdotes of the subject’s physical and personal characteristics. When this step is complete, you will have a good idea of what to expect for the portrait’s pose and composition. Tim makes sure there are no unpleasant surprises in the portrait process, and covers details such as framing, estimated delivery date, etc. before returning to his studio, armed with ample reference material, notes, and inspiration!
  5. Color Study: For outdoor portraits, an additional step is required. Due to the intricacies of color and light outdoors, Tim produces a small painting sketch to record the splendor and nuances of color that photographs are unable to retain (see more about this topic here). This takes approximately two hours, and is one of Tim’s favorite parts of the portrait process.
  6. Painting: Tim creates your portrait in his studio. This takes anywhere from 1-8 months, depending on size, easel schedule, etc.
  7. Final Proofing: Upon completion, Tim sends you digital images of the completed portrait for your review. There’s nothing like the original, but this approach has proven sufficient to provide you an opportunity to request any minor adjustments, which Tim will immediately render in his studio while the painting is still fresh on his easel. Oftentimes revisions are unnecessary. However, Tim’s desire is your satisfaction. You’ll receive updated images of any revisions to approve before delivery of the portrait. After approval, we discuss framing; all portraits must be unveiled framed.
  8. Delivery: Upon approval of the portrait proof, plans are made for delivery of your portrait either in person or via shipment. This can be a private occasion or a reason for celebration with guests. I enjoy the delivery, for even after having previewed the portrait via email, clients consistently say the actual portrait far exceeds their expectations. I am thrilled to be able to present a gift that brings so much heart-felt pleasure. It is indeed a privilege!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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“Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.”

by G. K. Chesterton

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