I’ve had the honor of creating one of a kind family portrait for nearly 4 decades. Styles, clothing, and hair styles have changed since we first opened our studio in 1982, but one thing hasn’t changed, the importance of passing on your family’s legacy. Every time I meet with a new client prior to their portrait session, we chat about how my goal with them is to personalize and customize their portrait as much as possible.

Personalize – The first question I ask is, “time me about your family?” The follow-up question is, “what do you like to do together as a family?” Their answers usually get the ball rolling in coming up with some creative ideas for how to make their portrait unique to them. I’ve pretty much done everything with my family clients which includes boating, skiing, hiking, and even traveling to Maui and Tuscany!

Customize – When designing the portrait, it’s important to know where it will be displayed. My goal is having the image on the wall harmonize with its surroundings. Is it a formal or casual room?  What are the colors, feeling or mood in the area? If it’s a more casual feel, you probably won’t be wearing formal clothes. If the color pallet leans toward warmer tones, you would probably stay away from the cooler tones with your background or clothing.

When it comes to personalizing and customizing family portraits, the location becomes front and center.

One client that comes to mind as I write this understood my design vision perfectly!

The couple met at the U of W in the spring while the beautiful blossoms where at their peak. They passed each other going to class almost every day. My clients eventually met and got married. When I photographed them, they had 3 kids, 2 girls and a boy. Dad was his sons baseball coach and Mom’s passion was growing tulips. So, here’s how we took all of the above and created their family portrait.

We used the U of W in the spring for our background. The blossoms where amazing and we used the area where the couple passed each other many years ago. Mom and her 2 daughters sat on a blanket with a basket of tulips while Farther and son played catch. The color pallet in their home at the time (early 90’s) was pale pink, fuchsia, and teal. The blanket, clothing, and tulips colors all fit perfectly in the design of the portrait! This is a great example of how we were able Personalize and Customize their one-of-a-kind Family Portrait!

Here are some of my favorite locations that you might consider for your next Family Portrait!

  1. Cannon Beach OR. – Cannon Beach is a magical location with incredible lighting and backdrops
  2. Anchor Park, Alki Beach – Stunning views of Seattle
  3. Lincoln Park, West Seattle – Great beach and fun to get the Vashon ferry in the background
  4. Seahurst Park, Burien – This is one of my secret spots that not a lot of people know about. Great beach with cool driftwood and tall grass!
  5. Top of Crystal Mountain – There’s no better view of Mt Rainer without hiking.
  6. San Juan Islands – There is so many opportunities that it’s hard to choose.
  7. Suncadia near – Perfect location for the winter sport family and Golfing family in the summer.
  8. Walla Walla – For families and couples that are into wine culture.
  9. Lake Chelan – Incredible views, wine and golf!
  10. Hawaii – need I say more. My favorite Island for beaches and waterfalls is Kauai!
  11. Lake Wilderness, Maple Valley – Great year-round but spectacular in the Fall!
  12. Sea Tac Botanical Gardens, Sea Tac – Another unknown gem with lot’s of variety and easy access for the physically challenged!
  13. Your own backyard! – Most of my clients have great locations right at home!