Portrait design for your home deserves as much attention to detail as any design element in your home. Actually more!

I want you to look at this image of a sofa. (I didn't take this photo. It's a stock image.)

You most likely put a lot of thought into how you design and decorate your home. You read design magazines. You might get inspiration from your favorite TV designers. Maybe you have a certain era that you are basing your home around. (I love the hollywood regency and mid-century modern styles myself.) Maybe you even hire a designer to come into your home and help you come up with a cohesive plan that speaks YOU.

Princeton New Jersey Family Portrait photographer

You do this because you want your home and how it's appointed to reflect both to yourself as well as your friends and loved ones just what and whom you care about. You may have original art pieces showcased throughout your home. Maybe you have old family portraits adorning your walls. If you're like us you even have some of your passions like musical instruments hanging on walls, expressing to all who enter, "this is what we value here." 

Personal styles run a formidably sizable gamut, so when I ask you to look at this sofa, I don't want you to get caught up in this particular sofa and how attractive or practical (the moms are cringing at the whiteness!) it is or is not. This sofa could represent any piece of furniture or decor in your home in whose purchase you have invested your creativity, your time, consideration and money into.

Now look at the blank wall above this sofa. When you are hiring a photographer, do you think about the finished portraits as not only a family heirloom but also an important piece of home decor that expresses your personality and values in a meaningful way? Does the media in which it is presented say what you want it to say? Your family portraits are an investment not only in the next generations because the portraits will endure that long if the materials used are curated with attention to detail, but they are also to be seen as an important piece of home decor as they are often a focal point of a room. As such it's an investment that demands more than cursory consideration.

Hiring a professional photographer who specializes in portrait design ensures that your decisions regarding substrates, finishes and custom framing are more than afterthoughts by helping you give at least as much attention to the portrait that hangs above the sofa or fireplace mantle as you do to the other important design elements in your home. The investment you make in your portraits will secure even longer lasting returns than even some of your most favorite home furnishing investments, which are often quite substantial, because the greatest value in them, which most often is primarily sentimental, virtually never depreciates. 

Are your portrait decisions merely afterthoughts or carefully made design decisions imbued with lasting value?

Print Your Snapshots! Check out this amazing photo app!

Soooo, you know how I'm always harping on how important it is to get your pictures printed? While I definitely mean that you need to invest in beautiful fine art wall art from your portrait session with Nan Doud Photography,  I also mean that you need to have your snapshots printed!

Remember photo kiosks? Brag books? Doubles anyone?! It's funny because we have more cameras per capita than ever now thanks to smart phones but we have fewer books of family snaphsots than ever too! Why is that?

It's the same reason a high percentage of "digital only" brides and grooms have yet to do anything with that disc of images in the closet? Desk? Oh shoot... Where is it now?! You see my point. The reason is that we have great intentions but life crowds in and before we know it it's been years! If you're blushing because this describes you, fear not... You are in good company! This is why I do my best to ensure that all my clients walk away with something tangible that is made to stand the test of time. But I digress!

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Friends, this printing your snapshots stuff is important for our kiddos! These things help anchor the memories like grappling hooks to their synapses and heartstrings in a way that digital images on your hard drive never could. There is nothing like getting your hands on your photos in print, whether we are talking about your wedding album or your snapshots from summer vacation. 

I spent many many hours as a child poring over my photo albums. It was my way of reaffirming my own history. It helped me remember who and where I came from. Memories that would have lived only in my parents' minds were being etched into mine. It made me wonder things about people and places and led me to ask questions of my mom and dad that I'd have never asked without the visual tangible prompts.

With that in mind, I followed my own advice this Christmas and bought each of my kids and some of my nieces these photo books from chatbooks.com.

And let me tell you, they were a huge hit! Are they archival? No. Are they super high in quality? No. These are simple one image per page books that you can create using your Instagram feed or your Facebook photos (make sure you have a print release before using any photos not taken by you, especially professional photos) in a matter of a few taps of the finger! They are perfect for the kids to thumb through. Starting at just $8 for smaller page counts, you can fill them with up to 365 pages each! Since its app based the process really couldn't be any easier.

Don't put it off any longer. You know if you do you'll never get around to it! And I must say, the creation process is rather addictive! 

Fine Art Portrait Photography

What is The Real Value of Photography?

The other day I went to an antique store with my husband and was admiring some old daguerreotype prints for sale. $75 for a little tiny wallet-sized photo of someone that no one really knows or remembers anymore. But yet there is clearly value in this tiny portrait. Who could imagine just throwing it away? Why? Because it's clear that by virtue of having been set, in this case, in metal, a certain kind of reverence for that person, that moment, that life represented, this person and hence their visage was a treasure. That captures the true essence of why I am a photographer.

I will tell you that in my early years as a mom I valued photography. I bought a quality SLR film camera after I had my first baby and I had a lot of film developed. I paid for beautiful portraits of him. But then digital photography came around, the harried pace of life with a lot of little ones took over and my other children have far fewer photos of themselves in print. A serious failing on my part! But life gets busy and overwhelming and before you know it, printing photos that old seems kind of strange (not to mention a lot of work!).... but we still feel the lack of them. The photos that I did trouble myself to order prints of are treasures because every day as I see them, my connection with that moment and that person in that time in life deepens. It accentuates our history together. It reminds me of how long I have loved these people, how dear they are to me. It's no surprise to me that studies have shown how psychologically beneficial it is to be surrounded in your home by tangible photographs of family

As an artist though, there are other reasons that I believe in delivering heirloom prints and albums. Design matters, not only with respect to my creative eye, which cannot be found anywhere else... it's unique to me, but in the caliber of people that I partner with to bring you the heirloom prints and products you are looking for. You are not paying me for the raw materials used to make a picture print, though quality most definitely matters. Just as when you go to a gourmet meal, you are not paying for the raw ingredients, but rather for the genius chef at the stove whose work it is to create something that you could not replicate on your own, a creative process and understanding of his craft that is unique to him. 

The creation process of each piece holds as much importance to the end result as the moment I frame a photo and hit that shutter release. For me to take myself out of the equation of the creative process once I have pressed the button would be a huge disservice to my clients. So seeing the whole photography process through from planning to creation to the selection process to hand delivery, is how I am able to ensure that you are getting the best that I can offer. All of those steps are not only a real service to my clients but they are integral parts of the creative process itself. I am, after all, presenting art to you. I am not providing you with a commodity or something you can recreate in a photo booth or at the mall. I am listening to you. The process, unlike a big box experience, is fluid and unique to you because we work together to create something truly beautiful to be treasured. 

Fine art photography is really all about the final product. It's about your end goal. It's not about sheer volume. After all, what is the point of hiring a skilled professional photographer if you are going to get your photos printed at Walmart or Walgreens? I believe the work I do demands better than what you can get from a big box store in terms of print quality and color accuracy, not to mention over all client experience. As the products that I deliver to you are going to express my work in greater detail and more permanently than any other medium, it is important to me that my artistic integrity is maintained by not leaving the results up to non-professionals and imprecise printing solutions with no way for me to ensure a quality result for my clients. I invest a great deal into my business and client relationships so to leave the results, for their sakes and for mine, to so many variables would be unwise. 

Just as when you reach a certain level of accomplishment in your performing arts, you invest more and more into those things and ways of showcasing it which are worthy of the level of skill achieved, so I have developed my own creativity, knowledge of photography, the printing process and client experience to a degree that demands I invest in the best representation of that skill possible.

That is what I offer to my clients. My best. It's not cheap, because my time and my work are valuable to me. Nor is it accessible to anyone who wants a photographer. But I gladly serve those who value the authenticity and bespoke nature of the creative process that is owned each step of the way by the creator as well as the provenance, uniqueness and exceptional quality of the end results which will be treasured for a lifetime. 

My boys

I have a confession to make. Are you ready? It's really pathetic and I'm ashamed to admit it. Here it is.

I haven't done a portrait session of my boys for three years. THREE YEARS. Really, there is no excuse for that but there it is.

Today I remedied that problem and took my boys out and had a great time shooting them. With my camera. Being photographer's kids, they have a condition that normally presents when a camera is trained on them. It causes them to spontaneously erupt in strange facial expressions and an inability to make eye contact with a lens. Today, they showed that this might not be a permanent condition.

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As you can see, I have a few clowns on my hands. They are a lot like their mother, actually. And they are cute to boot!Brothers-5 Brothers-22

There is something about seeing these photos today that made me realize just how fast they are growing up. They all look so tall and handsome.

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There are some lucky ladies out there somewhere, I tell ya.

Brothers-47 I'm blessed to be able to capture their personalities with my camera. Most blessed to be their mama.