Emotional But Important Family Portraits After Losing a Loved One

Last year, tragically a border agent with family ties to Utah was killed on the border. I knew this man and certain members of his family very well. It was a tough and sad situation.

Recently, their extended family was all going to be back together in Utah, and they asked me to create a large group portrait of everyone, as well as smaller group portraits of each family. This was a particularly emotional and hard shoot to do, but again reiterated to me the importance of families, loved ones, and of having great portraits — not just for us, but especially for our loved ones.

For this shoot, I brought my entire studio to the home of one of the family members who was hosting the get together. I set up the background, lights and gear in their home, and I began photographing each individual family.



Then because of the size of the large group, the lack of space, and because of the needs of various versions of a large extended family portrait for various people, I instead created a digital composite. Instead of actually shooting the entire group at once, I instead invested some serious digital creation time to blend and mix the smaller family group portraits together into one beautiful panorama. It’s designed so that smaller group relationships are shown while portraying the entire family’s adhesiveness.

The largest finished version of this was a 70 inch canvas which looked amazing!


We then created these smaller groups, like the original family…


…and another of just grandkids. A large group of grandkids in one portrait is always a challenge. There are so many young people who don’t want to sit still, let alone where I need them to sit for balance, let alone to look forward and show personality. But they are always a fun challenge and I love how this one turned out. Everyone has such personality and years from now they will love looking back on this image and seeing each other.


It was an honor to be asked to create the photographs for this family. I really appreciate the opportunity to be apart of these memories.

And now is a great time to book your own family portraits! Kids are out of school, the weather is great, the studio gardens look amazing, and the July Family Portrait Special is still going on! I’ve got some opening still before the end of the month, and if you at least call by the end of July but need to make your appointment during the first part of August, that’s okay too. My number is 801-728-3317 and you can see more details here as well.

Until next time, America.

July Family Special

With kids growing up, families changing, the weather being beautiful, the studio gardens in bloom, and this July family promo, there isn’t a better time than right now to get a new family portrait!


Whether you have a big family or a small family, or whether you’d like a painted portrait or something entirely different, give me a call and let’s talk about creating something emotional and timeless for you.


These two images are examples of my painted canvas portrait series, where I paint in an abstract way over the photograph to create something new and entirely different.


Portrait sessions can be inside the studio or outdoors in the studio gardens for free with this promo, or can be on location for an extra fee. However, right now the studio gardens look amazing! To give you an idea of where some of these images were created, three of the images in this post were created right in the studio gardens, with the others being created on location in places that are special to the clients.

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This is a great time to get your extended family together for that once-in-a-lifetime portrait, while at the same time creating portraits of each smaller family while they are together. If you’d like to see more examples and stories about each of these family portraits, many are posted right here in past blog posts as well as on my main portfolio website.


So what’s the catch? Call now to make your appointment in July. By doing so you get a free session (usually $200-$400 depending on the size of your family), a free retouched and hard-mounted 11×14 with leather protective finish so that it isn’t damaged by handling or fingerprints and doesn’t need glass (value $199), as long as you purchase any framed wall piece like a 16×20 portrait of your group, or a child’s trio, or a multi-image collage for example.

The image you purchase can be larger of course. For instance you may want a painted wall canvas like the samples at the top, or perhaps a long panorama canvas of your extended family so that you can see each child’s face from a distance. What you get is up to you.

Many are doing the free 11×14 as the portrait of their children with their wall portrait of their entire family. Some are doing the session of their children using the free 11×14 as their group portrait and a wall collage as a way to showcase each child.


You know it’s time for new family portraits. Don’t settle for average photography. You will look amazing and will get portraits that are real, emotional, timeless, and that don’t have all the plastic skin effects or weird washed out retouching.

Give me a call for any further questions and to set up your appointment to get the best options for dates and times. My number is 801-728-3317. Again, check out my main portfolio site at to see more samples, or the blog here too.

And until next time, America.