I've been thinking about what to post regarding the fine art and conceptual portraits and I realized that something many may want to know is what is involved in a commissioned piece.
What can you expect for a fine art or conceptual session?
The session doesn't start when we meet to photograph your likeness and it doesn't end as soon as the session it finished.
Prior to the session:
Before the session, we will meet for a consultation. This meeting consists of discussion what you would like for your image(s). This could be discussing style of my work, concepts, belief, likes, dislikes, wardrobe planning, and surreal elements. You may have ideas or you may not. Either is fine. If you don't have an idea of what you like, I will ask questions to find out what would work for you and to come up with a concept designed just for you.
We may also have phone calls and email messages between the consultation and the meeting. These may be to finalize ideas and to firm up our session.
I will also send wardrobe suggestions to you and tips to keep you looking your best for the session.
We will determine session date and time.
For fine art pieces and portrait sessions, 50% of the fee is due prior to the session.
After the consultation:
I will work on planning the concept. Planning includes buying the appropriate props and building the set.
If a set is not involved and we had agreed upon a location session, I will scout for the perfect locations to fit the concept.
Additionally, I will sketch a diagram of my plan for lighting and the general idea of what the finished image will look like.
If any other team members are involved, such as hair or makeup, I will present them with the sketch and color scheme for the concept.
During your session:
You will arrive with the wardrobe we planned.
Your final installment of your session fee is due at this time. If we are creating a fine art conceptual piece, you will have also told me the kind of wall print you would like so that I can determine the dimensions and crop accordingly while photographing you.
I will present the sketch and plan to you as well as discuss how I would like you to pose.
You will change into wardrobe. If hair and makeup is necessary, the artist will prepare your look for the session.
While you are getting prepared, I will do final checks on lighting and the set.
When you are ready, I will communicate with you where you need to be in the set and I will discuss and help you get into the pose. As we proceed with the session, I may make adjustments to your pose or the hair dresser may fix you hair if it gets messed up a bit. This will continue until we have everything perfectly set...no wrinkles in wardrobe, no odd bulges in wardrobe, hair and makeup perfect, and lighting on you set perfectly to enhance your best features and convey the mood of the concept, etc. This is where we get everything perfect for the base image.
You will go home excited to see the images and invigorated from a fun session with the great team we have assembled.
After your session:
Your part is complete, but I still have a lot of work to do. If this is a portrait session or a conceptual session, I have to upload the images, back up the images, then cull them for the images that present you perfectly. For the most part, we get everything in camera, but there's always those odd few where the light may have misfired, you blinked, an expression is slightly off, and etc. Those images are deleted.
For portraits: You will have an in-person viewing session where you choose and order the images you want. After you've placed you order, paid for your images, and we've verified exactly what you would like retouched, I retouch what is not permanent on your selected images or any other things you may want softened, such as blemishes, circles under the eyes, or scars you may not be comfortable with. I will not remove scars or moles unless you request them to be removed. Those are part of what make you who you are and the choice is up to you. After retouching all the images, I submit proofs to you for approval. After your approval, I submit the order. The order can take 2-6 weeks depending upon the items you ordered.
For conceptual/fine art images: We've discussed what your use for the image will be. Unlike portrait sessions, fine art conceptual commissions are usually single images. With conceptual/fine art, it is most likely for a wall. I spend an average of 16-40 hours hand retouching, painting, and adjusting a single image. Think of it as digital painting. I do no use filters. This is not completed with a click of a button. I personally zoom in and out of the image adding elements and retouching, paining digitally, and doing whatever needs to be done artistically to make the concept come to life.
You will arrive for an in-person viewing of the image. At this time, you will give your approval of the image and make your payment for the print. If there needs to be any adjustments to the image, I will make them and then send in your order. Again, the order can take from 2-6 weeks depending upon the item.