What is Fine Art Photography and Why is Your Family Worth It? | Northern VA Family Photographer

Your family is priceless to you. It’s that love of family that drives so many of our clients to come to us for their fine art photography. But, why “fine art” instead of “retail” photography like you might find anywhere in Northern Virginia, including Oakton, VA? The answer is simple: Your family is worth the beauty and excellence of a fine art portrait. And, unlike snapshots or retail images, fine art photography will last for generations to come, carrying on your family’s story.

Defining Fine Art Photography

If you looked up the definition of “fine art,” it would say: A fine art portrait is a cut above and begins with artistic vision as expressed in the creative choice of the portrait artist; it is technically excellent and provides the viewer with the enjoyment of the artwork that expresses emotion.

The process of taking pictures has become extremely easy. We think you understand that few pictures today are considered fine art. Fewer are worthy of prominent display in your home.

To be regarded as fine art photography, an image has to transcend ordinary photography, rising well above a snapshot. It needs to be something that stops the passerby and draws them in as viewers.

What Fine Art Photography Means to Us

We create portraits of the highest caliber for our clients and those they love. We don’t believe in creating portraits that are just technically proficient in how they are printed and then displayed in your home. We believe in creating portraiture that captures emotion and is compelling. We have dedicated our career to fine art photography because we genuinely think it is an important medium for the families we serve.

Fine Art Photography vs. Retail Photography

There are significant differences between what is known as retail or big-box photography and fine art photography. As we have said, fine art is an elevated and artistic photography genre. Typically, it is poignant and subject-authentic and subject-centric, meaning it is an accurate reflection of its subject.

Fine art portraits don’t have to be stiff and formal. They can be informal, indoors or outdoors. It should evoke emotion and offer insight into the subject, even to a stranger, but certainly to those with a personal connection to the subject.

With a big-box retail photo session, you make an appointment, and you show up to have your pictures taken. It tends to be more of a professional snapshot. That’s typically all there is to it. It might sound easier and quicker, but it’s not going to give you the same depth and reflection you receive from fine art portraits.

While big-box retail photography can be good pictures, they’re not at a level of poignancy, emotion, and reflection that they could be. The conditions in which they’re shot make them something entirely different than fine art photography. As an example, we would cite annual school pictures taken on a school day versus fine art senior photography. The quality and difference is immediately apparent!

Ever After as a Fine Art Photographer

As a fine art studio photographer, we invest a great deal of time into every portrait session, even before the client arrives. It is vital to our process and to the portraits that we know something about each client before they come. For example, we want to know their vision for their portraits – if they have one. At the very least, we like to know what styles they like (candid or formal) and what ideas they might have for their portraits.

We also like to know where they hope to display their portraits because that provides insight and guidance for us as their photographers. We ask them about their family and/or those who will be in the portrait. With all this information in hand, we can carefully plan for each session before it takes place.

We aren’t just a point-and-shoot photographer. We are highly-trained and experienced photographers who understand the value of getting to know our clients. We don’t just invest time to plan a session; we take our time during each session to engage with the client or clients. Our attention is focused entirely on that family because that level of personal engagement goes a long way toward creating excellent portraiture. It is what allows us to honestly reflect their personalities in their portraits.

Is Fine Art Photography Ordinary or Extraordinary?

We like to say that fine art photography is not ordinary photography or portraiture. It is extraordinary, something that exceeds everyday photography and imagery. It’s something so very worthy of your family’s time and money because family is worth the quality and memories created by fine art photography.

The emotions you feel when you look at a fine art portrait is what truly makes it “fine art.” It is what makes it worthy of being displayed prominently in your home or office.

Fine art photography is something clients take the time to do because they love their families and they treasure the opportunity to capture that moment of their lives in print. They understand that what they are capturing isn’t just for today, but for tomorrow’s generations as well.

With almost two decades of creating fine art photography at our studios (both indoor and outdoor) near Oakton, VA, our work remains completely client-centered. Without that focus, our work would be anything but fine art. We hope you will take the time to browse and enjoy our Gallery of work!


Family Photographer, Fine Art Photography

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located near Oakton, 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