COMMISSION A PORTRAIT

A portraitist needs portrait subjects!

If you like the portraits you see on my website, please consider adding your visage to my collection. Your family will have an heirloom to link the generations.

I try to keep my price reasonable, even though the endeavour is inherently expensive - photography depends on materials containing silver. The whole process involves close personal attention and plenty of finicky hand-work. I devote many hours beyond the time of the portrait session itself.

Interestingly, the largest fraction of the time is not at all in the painstaking processing of film and prints. The editing phase consumes the time; choosing images that are worth working on is surprisingly difficult. There is simply no alternative to living with the pictures as long as it takes while making the selection. I do this on a computer so I can have them in front of me easily and frequently. ('Frequently' because it works best to examine them, put them away, and return to them - repeatedly.) My clients sometimes like to go through this process themselves, and the computer helps here, too. It's very easy to send a selection of portrait samples by email or on a CD, so subjects and their families can look them over at leisure.

I charge C$1200.00 for the complete portrait service (payable at the time of the portrait session). This includes two copies of the "best" portrait chosen by the client. (I make choices, too, and I'm very good at choosing the 'right' portrait; of course, the customer's preference is paramount. Besides, I've been known to make copies of each if we like different ones!) I make these prints in any size desired, up to 20x24 inches. (Over the years I've noticed that people definitely like 16x20!) I love to see a 20x24 hanging on the wall - there is a quality of basking in its radiant presence if it is a portrait with meaning and power. I deliver one of the display prints framed and ready to hang, and the other in an appropriate storage container so it can be kept easily and safely (and reasonably compactly) or sent to another recipient. Additional prints, in any size (11x14, 16x20 or 20x24 inches), of any image from the session can be made for C$175.00 each. For ten or more prints, the price is C$100.00 each. Small-size prints (8x10 and smaller), made by computer printer, can be ordered free of charge. Shipping and handling, if any, are extra. I use Fedex. I'm sorry for the Post Office, but it has failed me too often.

I prefer to make portraits in my studio; I get the best results that way. However, I will travel to a client if necessary. To do this I must increase my fee to C$1500.00 (within the Toronto region), plus expenses. Away from Toronto by negotiation (I'm a reasonable fellow...).

It's difficult to judge the 'final product' from images reproduced on a website. By nature, a website shows pictures at computer screen resolution, which is vastly below the level of quality attainable in a real photographic print. All of my portrait work is made into the highest quality prints I can do. I make them myself, by hand, the old-fashioned way on materials with a lengthy track record ('fiber base' papers) and with methods that have stood the test of time. I don't use plastic coated materials, automated equipment, or even an assistant!

In a similar vein, I take the pictures myself. This may seem an odd statement; the sad fact is, however, that many portrait studios farm out their work to a varied group of photographers. This precludes consistent quality, of course. When I use the expression "my work", I mean from start to finish, every single step, period. That's why I sign my work.

I have certain limitations. I work exclusively in black and white, as one might gather from viewing my website! And I use daylight almost exclusively, so portrait sessions must take place during the day, weekdays or weekends.

I also have some prejudices, such as my dislike of wristwatches. Anything a portrait sitter cares to wear is fine with me, except for a watch. I think they are horrid, clashing objects. Eyeglasses are not my favorite either, although if someone has strong feelings about it I do not insist they remove the specs! As for clothing, just let your conscience be your guide. I hesitate to intrude; sometimes people have shown up so garishly tricked out my heart fell, and yet fine work resulted. I am wary of interfering. The same is true for hair and makeup, although I certainly advise that less is more. No makeup at all suits me best, and quite frankly, messy hair looks great. Men who hate to shave are probably in the majority, and they look fine that way, too!

I like varied combinations of people. I don't charge extra for every additional person in the portrait (big groups have to cost more, though, because more materials and time are needed), and I don't charge extra for kids. Far from it; I love the mix of siblings with or without mom and dad. Grand parents plus grand kids make excellent pictures. Multiple generation portraits are a pleasure to do. (If you have five generations, I'll make you an extra print -- and a nice one, too! -- as a gift ...). I'm sure I haven't come close to seeing all the human-family permutations and combinations.

Please feel free to contact me about a portrait. No obligation, "no salesmen will call"!, no pressure tactics.

Here's how to reach me:

portrait@heylloyd.com


...Portraits are Family History...