Portrait Style

Portrait Style

A portrait Style that is recognizable is a goal photographers strive to achieve.

I’ll never forget the feeling I had the first time someone commented to me “you have a very recognizable style.” Really? I didn’t know I had a style, never mind one that was recognizable. It’s been something that I have been trying to do all my life, I just didn’t realize I had done it.

Why didn’t I recognize it? Why don’t a lot of photographers recognize it when it happens?

Probably because my best portrait is always the next one. Never satisfied, like many artists I’m always striving to be better. I refine little things and try yo create images that reflect the personality and lifestyle of the people that I am photographing. That has to be moderated by the type of the image desired by the client.

How do you determine the kind of images that are wanted by the client? Several methods can be used to accomplish this and each photographer has one or two that work best for them.

  • Some photographers prefer to show the client a variety of images at the consultation stage. By asking them to comment or simply by watching there reactions you are able to get a good feeling for the type of image that they best respond to.
  • An in person portrait design session allows the photographer to observe little personal traits as well as to seek out opinion to such questions as who’s the portrait for, where will it hang, what do you love doing as a family, etc., gives great insight into the habits, values and insights of the subject. (This is my personal favorite.)

It is not unusual to create two or more variations in a portrait session. I used to call these different “styles,” but have come to realize that they are in fact only variations of my style.

For example, in the portrait below I tried to create an image that provided each person with their own space and personality.


Then I brought everyone together in a nice overall composition, looking at the camera and created this.


It has been my experience that nine times out of ten when presented with both options mom will chose the second. When I ask why she has chosen that one, I am told it’s because her family is all together looking happy.

So where does this lead us? Well I hope that when you are ready for your next portrait, whether individual, family or group, that you will take a look at my portrait galleries and decide if it is a style you would like on your walls.  If it is then please give me a call and we can begin the process with a portrait design meeting.  My number is 519-624-8460 or you can reach me by e-mail by clicking here.

John Mitchell is a Storyteller. Artist. Photographer. With 45 years experience I am a master of lighting and posing in a way that flatters my subjects and emphasizes there best qualities and features. My portraits are hand printed by me and finished, ready to beautify your walls.

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