When the medium of photography first appeared in 1839 it changed the tradition of portraiture forever and quickly replaced the painted portrait, allowing anybody to have their portrait made, a privilege until then reserved only for the wealthy, and the photographic portrait became a powerful medium for self-presentation and the preservation of memories of loved ones. But with iPhones and smart-phone cameras now so prevalent these days, democratising portraiture even further, just about anyone can take a ‘selfie’ or a snap of their friends and family, post it to the internet and share on their social media platforms instantly. So the role of the portrait photographer has changed considerably from those days when families marched into a studio once a year (usually with the husband and children dutifully in tow) and sat for an annual picture that would then be framed to grace the living-room wall. Portrait photography has, thankfully, come a long way since then and the need to have a “professional” make the picture and ensure the film was correctly exposed is no longer a necessity any more. But portrait photography is still a complex and challenging artistic genre to master as it explores a persons sense of identity and emotions, often through a single momentary expression. It announces to others, “This is who I am.” And long after we depart this mortal coil, it will say to others following, “Look, I was once here too!” While portrait photography may no longer be the sole realm of the “professional” that it once was, for the discerning eye, however, engaging an accomplished photographer to make your portrait can be a rewarding experience. Camera phones may take a pretty decent photograph much of the time, but it’s rare to see anyone set up backdrops, arrange the lighting, or even use a tripod when taking pictures with a phone, the same way a professional photographer might do. But more than that, for an experienced portrait photographer, knowledge of how to use their equipment is second-nature and instinctive, which allows them to concentrate entirely on putting their subject at ease and instill a sense of confidence and trust between themselves and the people they are photographing. This is an under-rated skill, but becomes immediately apparent in the resulting photographs. After almost 3 decades as a professional photographer, working on a vast array of assignments for magazine and book publishers, corporate and advertising clients, as well as in-depth documentary projects that have been exhibited in museums and galleries both in New Zealand and around the world, Peter James Quinn now offers a uniquely personal fine art portrait experience for both individuals and groups of close friends or relatives. These sittings are tailored to suit each client in a bespoke manner allowing for a collaborative approach between Peter and his clients. Ideas are discussed beforehand and if necessary props can be arranged for the shoot. On the day, Peter will often travel to the clients preferred location here on the Coromandel, around Auckland, the Waikato or the Bay of Plenty and photograph them at their home, a favourite landscape setting like a beach or public garden or even an urban environment. Alternatively a studio setting may be chosen to control the lighting instead. For clients further afield wishing to make a booking for a portrait sitting with Peter, these can sometimes be scheduled for when he is next visiting your region, or alternatively, travel arrangements can be made to host Peter in your part of the world when it suits you. Typically, a sitting is booked that allows enough time for Peter to produce a range of portrait setups. Ideally this is about 2 - 3 hours, but that time can be shortened or extended depending on the circumstances and the number of people to be photographed. When groups are involved, Peter will arrange and frame them together, but often then single each individual out on their own to produce a collection of portraits to choose from. Backdrops, for studio-styled sittings, can be changed out to provide different options, as can different clothing be changed into that suits each new setting. The approach is more in keeping with a magazine photo-shoot and clients are encouraged to relax and let their personality shine through as they are photographed. No-one is rushed, or made to feel pressured during the shoot and put on an unnatural persona for the camera. Peter’s style of portraiture is sensitive and authentic and he aims to capture a sense of the real, natural personality of his subjects in a way they will cherish long after the sitting has ended. Once it has, Peter will often employ his design skills to work further with clients and create tasteful ways to present their portraits. This can be anything from a traditional framed print on the wall, to a beautifully designed bespoke album or boxed set of prints, or even a perfect bound one-off book designed by Peter with as many copies as the client wants to share amongst their family and friends. The options are almost limit-less and can even be translated into a multi-media digital presentation for viewing on screen. Peter oversees each part of the process to ensure it retains his exacting mark of quality all the way through. So, if you wish to make an investment in a fine art portraiture sitting with Peter James Quinn please call the studio on (+64) 07 8685950 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for a no-obligation consultation to talk through ideas. Please do leave a message with your contact details if you encounter the studio unattended or email us from the contact page with a time that best suits to call you. Due to the individual bespoke nature of this service we cannot publish definitive prices for fine art portraiture here, but after the consultation we will be able to provide you with a firm quotation for costs. As a guideline though, a portrait sitting fee of approx. 3 hours for the average-sized family (this will include a range of group and individual portraits taken over that time) typically begins at NZ$600.00 (GST Inclusive) plus any travel costs (80 cents per kilometre) from our studio, located on the Coromandel Peninsula in Thames. Print prices can be found on our websites main menu below this. For all other presentation products the costs are strictly P.O.A. Please click here to see a copy of our industry standard T&C's for our Portrait Services. If you haven't already looked, click here to view a selection of Peter's fine art portrait photography.