It’s always been so important to us as professional photographers to hire other professionals when it comes to photographing our personal, family portraits! Yes, we could attempt to set up our cameras with a timer and capture the moment, however, in my opinion, it’s just so impersonal looking at a camera without an actual person to engage with. To me that’s where the real talent comes into place; that person behind the camera! Especially with children, you need someone engaging with them to draw out their true personalities. So important!
We desperately needed an updated portrait. It’s been a few years since “Papa” Phil photographed our family; Ally was only 2 years old back then. You may say, “well that was only 3 years ago” however our family has greatly changed and the kiddos have matured so much since then. We always suggest that you capture your children and family every 3-4 years to hold onto to the changes that will happen. It’s amazing to see the difference!
I wanted something totally different but pulled from our family’s personality. We are not a “beach” family so that setting didn’t work and our last family session was taken in our studio garden with the fall leaves. So we chose one of the coolest settings right here in the middle of Taylors, SC! Taylors Mill is such a unique place with it’s rough wooden floors, brick walls, and do I have to say it? “Those windows”! Absolutely fell in love with those tall windows with the light streaming in and hitting those wooden floors. Just perfect for our little family! You’ve gotta check this place out, my friends!
We called up our dear friend, Mitchell, owner of Mitchell’s Photography (such a talented photographer) and asked if he could capture this moment for us! He didn’t skip a beat and said, “I would be honored to! Thank you for asking me!” So we got the session scheduled! He was so much fun during the entire process. We challenged him a bit with the location because he had never been to Taylors Mill but immediately fell in love with it. Mitchell made the session so easy even though it was a hot morning and by the time the session was done, we all were drenched with sweat (Ally and I were both glistening; lol! The guys were sweating).
Mitchell really captured some memories for us and we could not have done that with a timer on our camera and trying to do it ourselves. So remember, even though we are in this awesome business of photography, we too hire professional photographers and so should you!
Yes, we do call our camera room a “no parent zone”! This is where all the “magic” happens!
I remember as a child, my mom would drop me off at my Grandmother’s house for the day and when she would return I would start pitching a fit. My grandmother would say, “she hasn’t acted this way all day! She’s been a perfect angel!” Now that I’m a mom myself, I hear these phrases all the time. It can be frustrating however it’s a proven fact that most children behave better when separated from their parents. We’ve seen it time and time again whether here at the studio or even with our personal experiences with our children.
That’s why during a child’s session, we encourage this separation. Alex and I work side by side in the camera room. While Alex sits behind the camera capturing the moments, I’m sitting with the child making the experience fun and keeping their attention on what’s happening during the session and; not on Mommy or Daddy. We start to see:
the child’s real personality whether they are shy or outgoing; that’s what makes a timeless portrait so unique
he/she is more focused on us instead of Mommy/Daddy
we gain their trust (at least for a moment)
they build confidence within themselves and that helps to draw out their personality
98% of the time we are successful in separating however in those instances where a child won’t separate, we don’t force the situation. We want their portrait experience to be fun! So when we’ve determined that it’s not going to happen, we bring mom into the camera room. She’s only there so that the child can see her and is confident enough to move on with the session. After every session (almost always) children are eager to head back to the camera room because they are so comfortable. That lets us know that we’ve done our job and have created an environment that children love!!!
Here on the blog, we talk a lot about both our family and our business. This time, we want to talk about you! Our customers are like family to us, and here at the studio we enjoy both meeting new people and continuing to develop our relationship with long-time friends. We want to take the opportunity to share with you some of the traits we admire in our clients.
Most of our clients come to us with a specific reason in mind when they get ready to plan a portrait session. Whether it be to mark a special milestone in the life of the portrait subject (birthday, graduation, etc.), a large framed portrait to give as a treasured piece of art, or a family portrait taken for the annual Christmas cards, we have found that our sessions are most often carefully planned for a purpose. Knowing why the portrait is being taken helps us to better serve you as we plan for your one-of-a-kind session.
While we seek to develop a relationship with our clients that will continue for many years to come, no relationship can be only one-sided. We are so blessed to have clients who include us in their family’s lives and truly desire to see us as more than just people with a camera. Family-oriented clients like these remember us when they have important family events they desire to document, and some have even thoughtfully remembered us with sweet gifts during the holidays or personally connected with us in some other way. We realize that this takes intentional effort and we are so thankful that they allow us to be a part of their family and we offer them to be a part of ours.
We recognize that portraiture is a unique business and that our clients make an investment when they choose Phil Hyman Photography to be their portrait artist. We are willing to work with our clients to develop a payment plan, if necessary, so they can keep a budget while preparing to enjoy a piece of quality, personal art that will last more than a lifetime. Many of our clients have begun to save for their next portrait immediately after their current one is completed. We appreciate their recognition of the importance photography plays in documenting family history. Time and time again, our customers express to us how appreciative they are to have such quality fine art in their home, proudly on display. As artists, we love nothing more than to see our work enjoyed.
We have some creative clients, and it is certainly fun to see the variety of settings in which our portraiture is on display. Some chose a single large portrait for their wall, while others order a group of images which, when hung together, tell a story. Some choose a colorful fall family portrait or peaceful summer evening beach portrait, while others prefer the stark contrast of black and white. While we will always have the same classic style, this variety is one of our favorite parts of our business.
Thank you for being a part of the Phil Hyman Photography family. If there is any way we can help document your next family milestone or help you to prepare ahead for Christmas gifts, please feel free to contact us. You are the reason we love the portrait business!
It’s all about keeping it classic! Check this out!
Many critics, journalists, authors, and music lovers around the world have called her “the most influential female recording artist of all time.” She is also the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the Guinness Book of World Records best-selling female recording artist of all time. From the early 80s up through the current decade, her hits have been popular all over the radio waves and MTV. While many do not agree with the political stance or immorality she promotes, everyone has at least heard of Madonna. At 56 years old, she is still popular, even amongst the younger crowd. She is now much more than just a singer – she is an icon with an eye for business. In recent years, she partnered with her daughter to create a retro 80s style clothing line for Macy’s, and performed in front of millions of viewers (both live, on TV, and online) during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show which also featured several other currently popular artists. She played a huge role in the controversial MDNA Tour that featured political and ethical topics, which actually sparked an increase in box office sales. Madonna has maintained the same basic style, but has strategically stayed with the current trends (yes, you can follow her on Instagram!).
It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. With technology constantly progressing, it is important to keep up with the times, lest you be left behind. Here at Phil Hyman Photography, we are certainly not as infamous as Madonna! We do, however, make a conscious effort to continue to provide the same quality work we have always done while keeping up with the changing times. In recent years, we have kept up both our website blog and our Facebook page faithfully, as we seek to connect with you and your family and keep you up to date both with happenings in the studio and life with the Hyman family. Despite our growing presence in social media, we still send out hand written thank-you notes because, let’s face it, who doesn’t like receiving personal mail in their mailbox? This added personal touch is one of the aspects of our business that we don’t see a reason to change anytime soon. In fact, with the increase in social media, it’s not too often anyone receives a hand written note, so we like being the exception! As we have said before, while it is important to document everyday life with photos taken on personal digital devices, nothing can replace the beauty of an heirloom portrait, so we are committed to keeping this art alive in Greenville.
From season to season, we also vary a bit on which products are popular, although our classic portraiture is featured in each work of art created. This fall, of course, we expect to be busy with many family portraits in preparations for both Christmas gifts and annual Christmas cards. We look forward to continuing to serve you in the coming years by providing the same classic work that has always been associated with Phil Hyman Photography, while connecting with you on social media and providing services based on the needs we see in the community.
Is “good enough” really good enough? As I pondered this, I chose to Google the question, just to see what results I would find. As with any other Google search, this led to varying results, from both reliable and questionable sources. One quote really stood out to me, however: “The concept of ‘good enough’ is at the heart of all mediocrity”
Customers in any business are looking for more than just “satisfactory” in the work produced, and the portrait business is no exception. Those who are looking for lasting portraiture to be hung carefully upon their walls and treasured for generations to come do NOT want a piece of art that is just “ok.” These clients care about quality, and carefully search for the right portrait artist. They are looking for much more than a temporary Facebook profile picture that may stay on their page for anywhere from a week to a few months or more. They desire a quality piece of art that reflects the personality of each individual in the portrait – a prized piece for their home that tells a story.
When it comes to portrait photography, customers have varying tastes, to be sure. This taste is often driven by the latest trend or fad in portraits, and is often propagated by shares of such images on social media and popular photography websites. Customers looking for excellence in portraiture tend to look past this week’s social media trends and reference classic portraits when giving examples to us of the style they are looking for in their upcoming portrait session.
While trendy does not always equal tasteless, clothing and backdrop fads come and go with each passing decade and are often no longer relevant just a few years after their peak. I’m sure we’ve all had our moments looking through an old family album and reacting to the trending fashion of the day (“Mom, you wore THAT?!?!”). Here at Phil Hyman Photography, we are often asked by our clients what to wear to a portrait session. Some of this, of course, depends upon the type of portrait being taken, age of the portrait subject(s), and number of people in the photo, but our answers are usually very similar: wear comfortable, classic attire in plain, neutral colors (such as black or white shirts and blue jeans or khaki bottoms). This helps to keep clothing from being a distraction from the subject and also may help to avoid later embarrassment from that wild patterned shirt you chose to wear 20 years ago when your portrait was taken.
After years of experience with customers here at the studio, we keep boxes of tissues on hand for portrait pickups. We have had many a parent or grandparent moved to tears when viewing the completed portrait of their child for the first time. They are amazed at the way the true personality of the child shines through the canvas. In our portrait sessions, we do not coax a child to pose or smile – of course, we certainly allow them to smile, but we interact with them in such a way as to really bring out their individual personality while we use the camera to create a lasting piece of artistry. This creates a portrait that will be truly loved for many years to come.