Heirloom Portrait

If you follow along with my photography journey via website or social media, you may have noticed me frequently posting a new style of portrait in the past year: the Heirloom Portrait. In today’s blog post, I’ll explain what an “heirloom portrait” is, why you should consider scheduling one, and how my process is slightly different from other photographers.

Heirloom portrait of 6 month old in front of white seamless paper.

Children’s Heirloom Portraits

You may be thinking, what are you even talking about? Heirloom portrait is honestly a “fancy term” for a very simple picture. Traditionally, these are children’s headshots or full body portraits taken in front of a white backdrop. Sometimes a chair is incorporated. Generally, there is very little in the shot other than the child. Classic children’s clothing usually comprises the wardrobe (think Peter Pan collars and beautifully smocked dresses). However, in recent years, it’s become more common for some families to pair modern, casual clothing with this portrait style.

Why Schedule and Heirloom Portrait Session?

Personally, I love that the child is the sole focus of these portraits. While family portraits generally focus on family connection and relationship, these portraits capture the child’s personality. There’s nothing to distract from the sweet little expression on his or her face. Heirloom portraits are a way to celebrate and capture the beautiful individuality of each child.

While this type of portrait experienced a resurgence lately. However, its roots are classic. These portraits are timeless and won’t go out of style. In fact, at my house we have a 60+ year old heirloom portrait of my father-in-law displayed on our living room built-ins. When we recently visited my in-law’s house, I noticed several more heirloom portraits of him hanging on the walls there. (I shouldn’t be surprised, his mother was a classy southern lady.) If our family is any indicator, this type of portrait is literally an “heirloom” that will be passed down to future generations.

Preschool girl posing in antique dress in front of white backdrop
Chattanooga Heirloom Portrait _ little 2 year old boy in semi-casual outfit during children's portrait in front of white background
Baby in family antique baptismal gown for baptismal portrait, Chattanooga, TN

What’s Different About My Process?

With the resurgence in popularity of this style of portrait, you may have noticed that more and more photographers are offering children’s portraits as mini-sessions. You may be wondering, why should I make an investment with you when I can spend $100 to get similar portraits done elsewhere. I argue that my experience is different for 3 reasons.

1) I set up professional lighting for my session, ensuring consistent results. While the light may look natural (that’s my goal), I actually use flash to achieve my signature bright, even lighting. No need to worry about the weather outside. You’ll know exactly what to expect.

2) I will guide you through the process of what to wear to achieve the best portrait. We will talk on the hone before your session so that I can gather details about your exact vision. From there I will guide you through the planning to achieve just that!

3) These images are meant to be displayed. I get it that we live in a digital age. Having portraits at your fingertips on your phone is an amazing thing! However, I am a strong believer in the timeless power of print and therefore offer full service photography. This type of portrait is meant to be displayed in your home! (In fact, did you know that studies have shown a correlation between homes with family portraits displayed and a children’s self-esteem?) I offer a wide range of archival print products for you to choose from after our session together. Learn more about the products I currently offer here.

Chattanooga photography archival framed wall art, golden frame

Let’s do this!

Interested in learning more about scheduling and Heirloom Portrait Session with me? Click here! You can also see more of my work by visiting the portfolio page of my website. I offer Heirloom Portrait events throughout the year for a discounted creative fee. However, you may also schedule Heirloom Portraits as a typical photography session throughout the year. Not in the Chattanooga area? I’m willing to travel for Heirloom Portrait events. Contact me for more details. To learn more about my story, click here.

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