Often, when I meet someone for the first time, a conversation similar to this happens – 

Them: “What do you do?”

Me: “I’m a portrait photographer.”

Them: “Oh.  Like Glamour Shots?”

Yes, “like Glamour Shots” in the sense that much of my work is of a studio photo of one person (although it does not have to be – I’d love to photograph your family or you and your friends!). “No, not at all like Glamour Shots” in that it’s nothing like what you remember from the malls in the 90’s (even though my clients DO sometimes like to break out some amazing clothing and accessories). These are the comments that I most often get about my portrait work –  if you have one that I don’t mention, leave it in the comments below!

So, what are contemporary portraits?

I’m going to be 100% honest. It’s a fancy way of saying I create beautiful, modern, portraits.  My style leans toward a couple different “feels”.  I create images that have a magazine/editorial feel (think Vanity Fair)  and I create images that have a painterly feel. When I make images for you, I want them to be timeless. I want you and the people that you choose to share your images with to be able to look at your portraits 50 years from now and still be in love with them. 

…but let’s go a little deeper.

Portrait sessions are an experience.

Before you ever step foot in my studio, the experience of your portrait session begins.  We’ll have conversations to find out how you want to be photographed, what style (or styles) of portrait you are most drawn to.  There is no cookie-cutter formula – each session is as unique as the subject.   Maybe you want images that have a magazine/editorial feel to them. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of having boudoir photos.  Maybe you want something that is ethereal or painterly. Maybe you want all of the above!  These conversations will help us figure out what sort of styling we need for your portrait session and help us put together a plan for once you get here.

The day of your portrait session, there is no need to wake up and worry about your hair and makeup.  I work with the best makeup artists, The Beauty Patrol.  One of the professional makeup artists from the team will be with us for the entirety of your day, and I’ll have already spoken to them about the looks we are creating for you.

Next, we will get you in front of the camera.  At first, it may feel a little uncomfortable.  That is 100% normal.  Very few people step in front of a camera and feel at ease immediately. Don’t worry, I will coach and guide you through poses throughout the entire day. Before long you will find yourself relaxed, laughing and having more fun than you ever thought you could in front of a camera! 

To sum up the day:

You get to wear beautiful clothes that you may not get to wear on a regular basis.

You will have your makeup done by a professional makeup artist.

You will likely laugh enough that your face may be a touch sore the next day. 

BONUS!!  Your makeup is already going to be amazing, what a perfect excuse to plan a night out!

Glamour Portraits of Jessica Day by Portrait Photographer Ben Marcum


After your portrait session.

Once you leave the studio, your experience is not over. I set to work editing around 25 of the best images from the day.  Once they are edited and printed, I will schedule a time with you to come back to see your images in person. When you come in, I will have your images displayed on my reveal wall. Every time I pull back the curtain, people are stunned and it is not uncommon to hear gasps and “Oh, wow…”  Seeing all of the images printed is a completely different experience than seeing them on a computer screen or phone. At this point, you get to decide which images you love and would like to purchase – those images will go home with you immediately.  You’ll also be able to order larger prints to frame and display in your home.  

Click Here To Start Your Contemporary Portrait Experience 



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