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When a portrait is first commissioned, I like to start by simply listening to your thoughts and vision — do you have an idea of where it will hang in your home? or are you planning to decorate around it? maybe you want to receive the final piece before deciding on the details? I would love to advise on this. Every family and every home is unique. I understand that and together we will come up with the perfect plan for your portrait.


The next step is establishing a reference for the portrait, either through an in-person sitting or from an existing photograph. This stage of the process is very important, as it determines the look and feel of the final version. If you are located out of town, I will be happy to discuss the qualities of an ideal photograph or lead you through the steps to take your own. 

I get a lot of feedback from clients that this stage of the process held them back from getting the portrait process started. In the end, however, they happily report that what they were intimidated by in the beginning was actually not a hard task at all, thanks to the mockup stage of my process. 

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Once we have narrowed down an expression and pose that represents the subject best, I will create a computer generated mockup of the portrait. This eliminates any guesswork or possible miscommunication. You will get to see the image we chose set up exactly how the finished piece will sit on the page and know exactly what you will be getting at the unveiling. If we have chosen to use a combination of photographs for posture and expression, or changed the clothing or the hair, we will see how it all fits together at this stage. When you approve the mockup and size, I get to begin in the studio!   


I can't wait for you to see it.

If you are local to Birmingham, I will invite you to come view your portrait in my studio. Because I don't know your child like you do, I expect that you may notice a small nuance or two that the camera or I haven't recorded properly. Sometimes I will hear "there's something about the shape of his cheek" or "does his nose look a tad too wide?" I welcome these observations! These edits are always simple and will be fixed as you watch. 

For my out of town clients, the unveiling happens through email. I will send you a picture of your portrait and get your response via phone call or email back. We will do the same tweaking process as my local clients and when you are thrilled with the finished piece, I'll ship it out to you. I work with out of town clients all the time! Your portrait will arrive in a box made specifically for artwork via UPS.

I am honored to have my work in homes across the country and am more than happy to cover the costs of shipping your portrait to your home.


Capturing your son or daughter's childhood to be cherished by your family for generations is a high honor I take very seriously. I am so appreciative to you and to all of my patrons for allowing me to create a career out of what I already loved. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! 


Copyright © 2010-2017, Emily Morgan Brown. All rights reserved. All artwork and images of artwork are the sole property of Emily Morgan Brown and may not be reproduced in any way for profit or otherwise.

Professional photography: Joanna Ballentine and Mary Margaret Chambliss Rogoff