I have run into so many families that have never had a family portrait. And I mean never. That's not to say they have not had snapshots and smartphone pics through the years--they have gobs of them--but they have never actually had a family portrait. It is sad, really. When you hang a portrait, a real portrait, on your walls--it says something. It says to each and every family member: I belong and I am loved. It says to the whole family that we are all in this together, and together we will make it through--whatever the hardships. It is also a historical document, a treasured one at that. Your portrait is an icon of an era, a recording of who you are, what you look like, and what you value (i.e. your family).
There is some confusion nowadays. People think because their smartphone takes some pretty good pics, that they can just get their family all lined up & grinning, then press the button a few times, and voila, they have a portrait. Nothing could be further from the truth. The art and technique of portraiture stretches back some 2,500 years. How to pose, how to light, how to create dynamic composition, how to add drama, how to elicit an expression, how to finish a portrait, to crop, to retouch, to embellish, to custom print, each of these skills requires years and years of work and practice. With thirty years as a portrait artist, and one who is still learning and experimenting, I like to think our work shows the difference. There is nothing quite so beautiful as a family portrait. It is a work of art. Your work of art.