I refer to my exclusive Portrait Park all the time, and I realize I have not recently defined what a portrait park is! First, let me say that my Portrait Park will most likely NEVER be finished, and will always be evolving and changing as I drag new things in, move old things around, rearrange things, repaint things, etc. But let’s get back to what it actually is, right?
A Portrait Park is an outdoor place that is designed for photography. It can be a landscaped area, a courtyard, or a combination of props that are put together to utilize both outdoor light and supplemental lighting when necessary. Why is a Portrait Park a big deal for a photographer? Well, honestly – it’s all about control. With a Portrait Park I can control the scale, the lighting, the background – and even, the opportunity. Because when I just walk around a public place with someone I usually find a nice location for a picture – and if I’m lucky no one is walking behind us – and/or the light is good at that time, etc. But in MY park I know where I’ve put things, planted things, built things. And everything is planned for the viewpoint, perspective and yes, exclusivity. I know the only high school senior portrait photographer in VA/DC/MD with a 1957 Chevy Truck in their Portrait Park field is Patty Schuchman Photography. I have built exclusive sets that others can copy, but few will have the area to utilize as I can. So that means you get different options here at Patty Schuchman Photography than you get with another photographer that goes on location, but doesn’t have A LOCATION. Or, a Portrait Park.
You see, one of the things that works for my business is that I can offer both the indoor home studio set ups AND the outdoor Portrait Park setups in ONE SESSION. It’s my most popular session type – the Split Studio Senior and it gives a senior 3 whole hours to get the shots they want – even a few they didn’t know they’d want! We have enough time to get through LOTS of clothing choices, and yes, I even have a portable changing room so they can change their clothes IN the Portrait Park! Being able to get both indoors AND outdoors gives the senior what they want (almost always outdoors shots) and Mom what she wants – a gorgeous headshot or other setup from the indoor studio. And don’t think I’ve compromised the indoor studio – I have TONS of really creative backdrops, props, chairs, benches, and other cool things that make the senior images fun, modern, and trendy all with a classic twist.
So what kinds of things do I have in the Portrait Park for you? I have a small pond setting, some strategically placed old growth trees with cleared space for perfect leans, sits, etc. Large rocks, a wild field, a WILDFLOWER field, an old stone wall, and tons of black board fencing. And what else? Well, a 1957 Chevy Truck for one – which was the inspiration point for the entire Portrait Park, yes. And an old shed we’ve renovated to have a little front porch, screen door, and lap siding. A cute hanging wicker chair with old shutters as a backdrop, old chairs, a full beach scene with sand and a small “pier” – beach grass too! A caramel colored stucco wall with natural fade out behind, large evergreen trees, and even backdrop “walls” for more options. We have barn wood, old wood, rusty tin ceiling tiles, and a completely custom one of a kind work of art Graffiti wall commissioned by Patty and painted by a local high school student just this past spring. So many options, and more. With almost 21 acres here we have a LOT of options already and so many more wacky and crazy ideas!
As I said, the Portrait Park will never be finished – but that’s what makes it fun and UNIQUE. And of course, exclusive…because it’s only available at Patty Schuchman Photography. And it’s not just for high school senior pictures, either. LOTS of families choose to have their Family Pictures taken in my Portrait Park – the small pond, rock wall and fencing make a great backdrop all year round!