The Process Of Portraiture From Beginning To End
Zack's Graduation Portrait

The Process Of Portraiture From Beginning To End


First Some What Is

Let’s begin with explaining what I mean by Portraiture. The portraiture that we do is really 2 types. Engagement shoots, and Senior year shoots. The pictures you’ll see in this post are from the senior year shoot of Zack France. Zack was a great young man to work with, and I like to think that with the exception of his mom and grandmother fussing him, he had fun as well as us. We will sometimes also do custom portraiture if the stars align. So what we mean, is basically a fancy word for a portrait shoot. Now most photographers when doing portraits make the portrait “soft” which means basically some blurriness on the edges of the subject. Personally I believe most people want a clear shot, so I don’t “soften” portraits unless it’s specifically requested. Below is the only photo not of Zack. It is a portrait taken by another photographer of my grandmother that I scanned in to the computer. It’s an example of “softening”. You can see there’s a slight blurriness around the edges. Personally I’m not a fan, but your shoot isn’t about me, it’s about you, and what you want, so I absolutely will “soften” a portrait if you request it.

"Softened" portrait of my grandmother Betty Miskimon. Portraiture
“Softened” portrait of my grandmother Betty Miskimon.

Where Does The Process Start

The process begins when you reach out to us. You do this by e-mailing us at, calling or texting 985-398-0946, or if you see me out working just say hi. I’m always happy to talk work, and get your contact information for a more in-depth conversation.

The Second Step – Meeting To Get A Clear Picture Of What You Want

The second step is to meet. We will do this to learn exactly what it is that you want. Since we can customize each shoot, we do not post prices on our website or anywhere else. We’ll discuss our base packages, any customization of the package that you want and date, time, and location of the shoot. We will also let you know at that time what the cost will be.

A Boy and his horse.  Zack walking with his horse away from the camera.
A Boy and his horse. Zack walking with his horse away from the camera.

Step Three – The Shoot

Now we’re getting to the meat and potatoes. When we arrive at the shoot location we will collect the first half of the fee, and have you sign a release. This portion will be non refundable at this point, and covers the setup, time, travel if there is any, and the shoot itself. Angie and I will begin setting everything up. The background if we are using one, the lights, the camera and lenses, connecting to the tablet and any props. A couple of notes here. You will need to supply the cap and gown. Buying all the properly sized and colored cap and gowns for all the various High Schools and Universities at this point is beyond us. We are just starting and we are on a shoestring budget. Next, connecting with the tablet. Angie brings a tablet that I connect the camera to through Bluetooth, and we do this so that you can see low res images as I take them. Why do we do this? So that you can let us know if you would like a different pose, or angle. Once again, I want you to be happy, and this is probably the best tool we have to make sure that happens. Additionally the picture on the tablet is much larger than looking at it on the lcd on the back of my camera, so it’s easier to see details. The final note is props. For instance Zack wanted pictures of him riding his dirt bike, obviously buying a bike is beyond me, so he had to provide one. Even soccer balls, fishing poles, baseball gloves, football pads, etc. are all things that will need to be provided by you.

Action shot of Zack riding his dirt bike
Zack sending up a roost on his dirt bike for his Senior year action shot.

Proofing And Choosing

Once Angie and I get home, we will download the pictures to the computer. Once that’s done, Angie will do a quick basic edit of the images, then I’ll export them to low res jpgs and upload them to the Client Gallery section of the mudbugphoto website. I will then make a password protected gallery and e-mail you the link and the password. This last part can take up to 2 or 3 days. The next part is up to you. You will need to go through your gallery and star up to the allotted number of images, that you would like for us to finish editing, and hit the submit button. At that point, if you have any special instructions, such as certain images that you would like to convert to black and white, you’ll need to send us an e-mail with the filename which is visible when you hover your mouse over the image, and the special instructions. We will then begin the final edits. When complete I will export 2 versions of each image and a readme.txt file to a USB drive. The 2 versions of each image are a high res version suitable for having prints made, and a low res version suitable for sharing on the internet especially social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The final versions do NOT have a watermark. All edits are just light edits. We will not get so heavy on the edits that we are editing out blemishes, or doing any major changes, unless you request them.

Zack with his great-grandfather's rifle in front of a distressed American flag background
Zack with his Great Grandfather’s rifle.

Final Approval And Delivery

The final step of this process, is for your final approval of the images, and our delivery of the USB drive. We will meet one final time, and go through each image making sure that it is in fact what you want. Once you are sure each image is what you want, I’ll give you the USB with the images on it. At that time the final half of the payment will be due.

Zack's graduation portrait
Zack’s Graduation Portrait


This really is a process, but it’s a process where we work hand in hand to insure you have the most pleasant experience possible. Throughout the process I encourage you to ask questions, so that there are no surprises, and that you get the beautiful images that you want and deserve. Engagement and Senior year portraits are to important to entrust to just any one. They capture a once in a lifetime event that not only will you want to remember, but also that your kids and grandkids will want to see. If for no other reason than to make fun of the current hairstyles and fashion choices. Please consider Mudbug Photography when choosing who saves your precious memories in images.

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Mudbug Photography is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business
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