The Difference between a Portrait and a Picture | Northern VA Family Photographer

Is there a difference between a “portrait” and a “picture”? As fine art family photographers, we certainly think there is a difference! And, our savvy clients across the McLean, VA & Waterford, VA areas appreciate that difference.

Difference Between Portrait and Picture

As professionals, we do portraits. The only time we do pictures or snapshots, honestly, is when we are with our own families and pull out a cell phone with a camera to do some quick shots. To us, that’s a picture. It can turn out beautifully and be a good representation of someone or something, but it’s still not a portrait. Why?

A portrait can be a picture, but a picture isn’t a portrait.

A portrait is the likeness or representation of someone whether through sculpture, painting, photograph or other artistic media. A picture is a photograph.

If a portrait sounds like it has more depth than a picture, it’s because it usually does have more depth and tends to offer a story better than a picture does.

A portrait is like a book expressing itself through imagery rather than words. A portrait’s story flows from its canvas evoking intrigue or emotion like a book might.

While pictures can evoke emotion and can be as engaging as a portrait, they don’t have the same “finished” feel as a portrait. Pictures don’t often convey the same richness as a portrait nor tell a story as eloquently. We could say a portrait is 3-D and a picture is more one-dimensional.

This is why we say that we don’t do pictures. We don’t do “cookie-cutter” photography. We do fine art portraits to tell your unique story – whatever it might be.

So, yes, there is a difference between a picture and a portrait. Just browse our website, and we think you, like our McLean, VA & Waterford, VA area clients, will appreciate the distinction and difference between the two. If you would like to work with a family photographer whose goal is to craft your story through portraits rather than pictures, contact us to schedule an appointment. We would be happy to help you!


Family Photographer, Family Photography

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located near McLean, VA and Waterford, VA in Northern Virginia. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits.

Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.


Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!

Professional Photographer