How To Choose Portrait Size • The ABC's of Portrait Selection

The ABC's of Portrait Selection
by Mark Jordan ©2010

A. Face Width
A portrait derives its emotional impact, or connection with the heart, depending on the prominence of the face - not the dimension of the portrait. Face width is the most crucial element in selecting a portrait dimension - not the overall size of your portrait, and certainly not the most impressive finish.
    - Temple to temple, an appropriate face will measure somewhere between 4 - 6 inches.
    - For full-length family portraits, a narrower face width may be expected.

B. Finish
Finish denotes the quality of color and surface texture. We provide a wide array of portrait finishes from smooth and glossy, to soft, warm textures and Artist’s Canvas (w/wo oils). In addition to the Traditional Custom and Standard Automated finishes, we also offer our exclusive Mastercrafted Signature. This is where I not only complete every aspect of Artwork and manipulate every square inch of the photograph to bring out the color and detail, I also then print the image to ensure it is an exact reflection of the portrait I have in mind.

Every one of our portrait finishes are compelling, thereby making the selection largely a factor of personal preference and/or budget.

C. Artwork (retouching)
To accommodate every taste, budget and need, we offer three levels of artwork:
     1. Masterpiece: full-scale, including “expression exchanges”
     2. Classic: light-scale
     3. Express: minimal
During your Complimentary Consultation, I will discuss and provide you with a complete description of what each level of Artwork encompasses.

• Conversational Artwork
Did you know that the phrase "conversational artwork" was coined by our studio? When talking with others, we do not scrutinize their every facial feature. This cannot be avoided, however, when viewing a portrait. Suddenly we notice every blemish, line and imperfection. Faces, however, are best depicted as we remember them - not how they actually appear if carefully examined in a magnified vanity mirror. Our objective, therefore, is to render every face in a natural, more “conversational” feel.

I will be happy to share my expertise in assisting you with selecting the level of artwork that is most appropriate for you.

• Expression Exchanges
With the advent of digital photography also comes an exciting new option of selecting your favorite expressions for each person in your portrait and having their “expression exchanged” onto one “base” image. This service is included in the Masterpiece Artwork, or you have the option of adding is a la carte. 

If you have requested us to make expression exchanges, we suggest returning to the studio shortly after I have complete all the exchanges. This way you can view your portrait with the finishing enhancements. I will then project your portrait onto a screen to assist you in choosing the most appropriate dimension and finish. It really is very helpful and exciting to see your finished image projected to the same size you will be eventually displaying in your home.

• Preview Artwork
Because of the highly subjective nature of Artwork, once your portrait order has been placed and your artwork is either completed, at your request, I can email you a low-resolution file for you to approve. If need be, we can then make the necessary changes to match your personal tastes. Don’t be shy to request a bit of tweaking...

It may seem much to decide, but don’t fret, I will be there every step of the way.

©Photosical - the photographic, philosophical observations of Orange County Photographer, Mark Jordan

Mark Jordan Photography specializes in crafting stunning contemporary, traditional, classic, and storytelling family portraits (high school seniors, children portraits, babies, maternity, pregnancy), headshots and pets. Mark Jordan, a Photography Hall of Fame photographer in Rancho Santa Margarita and provides portrait photography throughout Orange County. The portrait studio also serves San Diego County and Inland Empire. Studio Photography Services are also provided in Riverside County and Los Angeles County. Local Cites where photography studio services are offered are in Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Costa Mesa, Coto de Caza, Cypress, Dana Point, Dove Canyon, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Northwood, Orange, Orange Park Acres, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, Yorba Linda, Corona del Mar, Murrieta, Murrieta Hot Springs, Quail Valley, Riverside, Temecula, Winchester, Chino Hills, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Loma Linda, Montclair, Rancho Bernardo, Carlsbad, Coronado, Del Mar, Escondido, La Mesa, Oceanside, San Diego, San Marcos, Solana Beach, Vista, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Rancho San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, and San Diego Country Estates, Turtle Rock, Shady Canyon. Portrait Photographers everywhere (photographers in O.C. as well) are welcome to contact our portrait studio for mentoring/guidance.