Gifting Portraits: The BEST Feeling for Photographers

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: December 26, 2018

Category: General

As a Photographer it doesn’t get better than when you give someone their portrait and they love it, and this Christmas I was able to do exactly that with the portraits I’ve included in this post.

My Brother, Greg

This first portrait is one I did of my brother Greg; a soldier serving in the British Army having served previously in the Intelligence Corps and when left, rejoined and is now in the Medical Corps.

Although I haven’t had contact with my Mom for a lot of years I know how proud she is of Greg so I mentioned it to him that I’d like to take a portrait of him in his uniform that he could then give to her as a present. So in late November I met up with Greg and we took this portrait in his living room by putting a Gravity Backdrops Small Canvas behind him and using a Westcott Switch Medium Octa with the Elinchrom ELB 1200 camera left; a really simple set up with a small foot print.

Glyn Dewis Westcott

Once I’d finished editing the portrait I then had it printed on Fine Art Paper (Photo Rag 300gsm) by Loxley Colour and then framed by my friend Robin at Pretty Like Pictures who has such a great eye for what mount and frame combination would show the pictures off at their best. I’m so incredibly happy how it looked when presented in the material mount and antique style wooden frame along with non-reflective glass, and the message from Greg on Christmas Day said it was a hit!

Glyn Dewis Westcott

My Uncle Jeff

The morning before I went to photograph Greg, I also visited my Uncle Jeff.

I’ve always been fond of my Uncle Jeff. A former Soldier and now Author of countless books specialising in Military History, I love it when we get together and chat; I’ve learned so much about World War 1, World War 2 and what my Grandad and Great Grandad did during those times.

The set up for his portrait was exactly the same as I’ve mentioned for Greg; simple and takes up minimal space.

Glyn Dewis Westcott

Felt great to deliver a framed print to my Uncle Jeff a couple of days before Christmas; again printed by Loxley Colour on the Photo Rag Fine Art Paper and framed by my friend Robin. Incidentally, the Military Portrait on the wall behnd is of my Great Grandad during World War 1…

Glyn Dewis Westcott

Surprise Family Portraits

These last two pictures were for my lifelong friend Nathan Black.

If you listen to our weekly podcast, HE SHOOTS, HE DRAWS you’ll likely know what an incredible story Nathan has; his interview which is episode number 42 has had such an impact!

During our chat it was obvious how much Nathan loves his family and how much they mean to him, so without Nathan knowing, in November I got in touch with his Mom, Adrianne and we arranged for the family to meet up at a pre-arranged location so that I could take their portraits…

Glyn Dewis Westcott

HUGE thanks goes to The Apple Tree at Barton Marina in Staffordshire who allowed us to use their premises completely free of charge, and had even reserved an area for us to use. Also thanks to Adrianne and Dave (Nathan’s parents) and to Chanelle, Paige and Seb (Nathan’s kids) for getting up so early on a frosty December morning.

Glyn Dewis Westcott

So what about you…did you gift any portraits this Christmas?

Anyway, just thought I’d share these recent portraits with you; portraits that have been gifts both for those receiving and for me giving.

Catch you again soon,

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  1. bill

    Beautiful portrait of your brother. One thing I don’t understand though: there’s a dark shadow from the light source under the lapel of his jacket, but not on the side of his nose. The shadow/highlight transition on his face is much softer than on his jacket. Even using a reflector would not have created that beautiful, soft transition, especially on the shadow size of the nose. Can you explain how you did that? Was it with frequency separation?

    Great portrait!

  2. Glyn

    Hi Bill

    Not down to the editing…just down to light. The side of the nose in shadow still has some light hitting it from how the light source was positioned. The lapel however is so close to the chest of the jacket that no light can get into that area hence why it’s darker. The other lapel is also as dark but not such a big shadow as it’s on the same side as the light. Out of camera, un-edit screen grab emailed directly to you to show this.



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