PORTRAITURE BY MICHAEL ONEILL
Portraiture is more than simply taking a flattering photograph of someone. Great portrait artists capture the personalities...the true essence...of the subjects in front of their lens. My foray into the world of portraiture started as a natural extension of my work as a wedding photographer. Though my wedding photography places a lot of emphasis on capturing candid, spontaneous moments; it is the portraits that capture and preserve the true beauty of my wedding couples, their families and their friends. Though I spend a lot of my time and energy on my wedding photography endeavors, my portrait work is some of the most exciting and fulfilling work I do.
I had the privilege and pleasure of studying with and learning from some of the most accomplished portrait artists in the photography world. I attended week long seminars with both Monte Zucker and Don Blair, two of the most accomplished portrait artists of all time. I spent another week with Dean Collins; one of the most knowledgeable and inspirational educators of all time. In one week Dean taught me more about photographic lighting than most photographers will learn in a lifetime. This education, coupled with my studies of both the old masters and the most contemporary artists have influenced my style of portrait making. The scope of my portrait work was vast...from simple studio mini-sessions to complicated, multi-faceted commercial projects involving complex digital compositing techniques. There are examples of both extremes, and everything in between, in the portrait gallery on this web site.
The studio mini sessions were the ideal solution for businessmen and businesswomen. Perhaps you needed a new professional head shot. A real estate agent who wished to put their picture on business cards and property for sale signs. A business person who neeed an attractive head shot for use on their web site, LinkedIn profile or a press release. Whatever your simple portrait needs were I handled them quickly, efficiently and at a cost-effective price point. Those sessions normally lasted no more than 15 minutes so they didn't take up much of your limited, valuable time. Following the sessions I set up a gallery online for you to view your portrait choices. The image you chose was then expertly retouched and enhanced to make you look your absolute best. The image was then delivered to you in your choice of formats. Some people chose the 8 X 10 print option but most folks opted for digital delivery in recent years...where I provided you with a high resolution digital file that could be used for a multitude of purposes.
More involved studio portrait sessions were offered for a variety of clients and again I refer you to the portrait image gallery on this web site. Perhaps they were an expectant mother who wished to document that special time in their life. Maternity sessions were done in my studio to capture whatever stage or stages of your pregnancy you wished to preserve. Some were aspiring models, actors, actresses or musicians in need of new, up to date, dynamic head shots. Some clients came to me to create flattering images for online dating sites such as Match.com, eHarmony, Zoosk, OurTime.com, Chemistry.com, etc. Those sessions were scheduled to coincide with appointments that the subjects made with their hair stylists or make up artists. I also offered elegant boudoir sessions in the studio. Those sessions captured your true feminine essence in an extremely tasteful, elegant, yet sexy way. Print selections from those sessions make wonderful Valentine's Day gifts for that special man in your life. Many of my soon-to-be brides enjoyed one of these sessions and presented a finished print or album of images to their groom as a wedding gift. Most women simply did these wonderful sessions for themselves and love the beauty that a skilled photographic artist finds in them.
The most challenging and rewarding portrait projects I worked on were those for large advertising, public relations, editorial and corporate clients. I incorporated my portraiture with my skills as a digital artist to create magical digital compositions. There are a few examples of this style of my portraiture here on this web site. Virtually anything can be done in the computer these days and the only limits are in your imagination or mine. I have placed high level executives, CEOs and corporate officers in remote manufacturing and industrial locations without taking up more than a few minutes of their valuable time. A few minutes in my studio and the executive could be placed virtually anywhere in the world. For clients who's time was severely restricted, and couldn't even find the time to visit my studio, I can captured the portrait at any location of their choice. I had made portraits of professional athletes and placed them in remote sports venues. There are no logistical restrictions to the imagination. Some of my digital composite images had been commissioned for magazine editorials, advertisements, annual reports and other hard copy or online communications. I welcomed, and thoroughly enjoyed, collaborating with other creative people on projects of that nature.