Portrait Information

We create wonderful memories of your family's get together and preserve them for generations to come. We work with any size family, from large extended family groups of 50 or so down to just the immediate family of 3 or 4. The average size family that we work with is usually about 12 to 20 family members from across the United States. They usually have gathered at the beautiful beaches of Sarasota for a 50th anniversary or 75th birthday celebration, or just a reunion at holiday times.

Availability, especially near holidays, books up quickly! Please be sure to make reservations well in advance of your intended date.

We offer three different finishes, Canvas, Gallery and Salon. All finishes are available in either B&W or Color.

Some of the locations that we work at are: the beach, in or around your home, at the park or at the Ringling Museum. We are able to do families of up to about 15 to 20 people in our studio. Considering our location on the southwest coast of Florida, with the beautiful white sugar sand beaches, the most popular location is out on the beaches of Longboat Key and Siesta Key.

Family Beach Portraits

There are only two times of day that work for beach portraits, Sunrise and Sunset. For sunrise we would want to start about 5 minutes before the actual sunrise time and for sunset we would want to start 45 minutes before the sun hits the water. 

There are a number of beaches up and down the west coast of Florida that can produce beautiful beach portraits. We will try to make arrangements to use a beach near where you are staying. 

We work with any size group out on the beach, from one individual to a large extended family of 30, 40 or 50 people. We have been doing beach portraits since 1981 and have photographed thousands of families.

We have found one of the concerns some people have is about small children in the portrait. They worry about whether their children will behave. Scott and his wife, Jenny, work as a team and have many tricks up their sleeves when working with small children. With many years of experience and many families later, they are able to work wonders with the children and babies.

Head Switching

Scott also offers the modern digital miracle of "Head Switching"! What that means is from the many images he takes of each pose he is able to move a head from one image to another so you are able to create a portrait where everyone has their best expression. So you only need to have a great smile once and that image can be placed into the final portrait.

There are three levels of cost associated with head switching: Easy = $15 Medium = $45 Hard = $100 per hour until completed, quote will be given Most head switches fall in the easy category, a few in the medium and almost never does a client choose to do a hard head switch. When we are looking at the images and making choices all of this is talked about during your Projection Appointment.

"Breakdowns" or Sub Group Portraits

During an average extended family portrait session I usually take 100 to 300 images. I don't show all of them to you though. Before the Projection Appointment I will edit down to the best 40 to 75 for you to choose between.

During a session I will usually photograph the whole group in two different poses, one at the beginning of the session and again at the end of the session. In between I will do what I call "Breakdowns" which is breaking the smaller family groups out of the large group and doing each individual family group. I also photograph the grandparents together and also with all their grandchildren. By the time I am through with the session there are 5 to 10 different groupings for everyone to choose between.

Of course, everyone's session is different. There are all different sizes of families and the way they are put together. Different families have various requests that I respond to, just ask! I do want to know who is going to be in the portrait before I start. I ask for you to fill out the "Family Tree" and get it back to me before the session. I find this to be very important for the success of a family portrait session. I memorize all of the names and relationships that are going to be in the portrait and I am able to do a much better job for you.

Scheduling Your Session

If you are coming in from out of town I recommend that you schedule your portrait as early in your trip as possible for three reasons:

  1. You won't be sun burnt, and you won't get that much more tan in a day or so.
  2. In case of rain, we will have a few days to reschedule.
  3. You will need to have your projection appointment before you leave town.

If you are here from out of town we are able to have your Projection Appointment as early as the next morning. During your Projection Appointment we will edit down the images to the one best of each pose series and you will be able to make your choice of what you would like to order. I will be able to guide you through the editing and head switching options. When you are in the studio you will be able to view all of the sizes and view the many different finishes. We offer many different presentation options and framing choices. In just a few short weeks your order is custom prepared for you to either pick it up at the studio or be shipped to you. We have shipped around the world. No matter where you are visiting us from we will be able to ship to you.

Clothing Suggestions

Your protrait will be superb because of your careful planning!


The subjects skin tone should be either the lightest or darkest tone in the portrait. The viewer's attention then goes to the faces first. If you have a light tone background then you also want light colored clothing, or if you are working with a dark tone background you are going to want dark colored clothing.

Our most important objective is a beautiful, sensitive portrait, which shows the relationship and personality of each person in the portrait. For this reason, keep the clothing subtle and don’t dress anyone in an outfit that is not an expression of their personality, or that they do not want to wear. We want to avoid having any one person “jump” out of the portrait because they are dressed in a lighter or brighter outfit than everyone else. Work for balance, harmony, and color coordination. If you have any questions at all, please call us.

Try to coordinate colors in complementary or similar shades. A nice effect can be created by having most of the group in one shade and a few in accent colors. Think of a sofa that is decorated with throw pillows in accent colors.

Solid colors only. Stay away from bold patterns, stripes, plaids, etc. After all we want to see you, not the clothes. You help to create the mood of the portrait with the style of clothing selected - from blue jeans to tuxedo.

Some poses will be full length so we ask that you dress all the way down to the shoes.

BEACH PORTRAITS STUDIO (with light colored background) HOME (if you have light colored walls)

We suggest white or light pastel clothing, light shoes or when outdoors bare feet are appropriate. Casual clothing is suggested outdoors because many of the poses are sitting or lying in the sand. Everyone should be in the same family of colors so that they blend with each other.

We want to cover as much skin as possible. We prefer long sleeve shirts and long pants or skirts. The skin of arms and legs is distracting in a fine portrait.

  • 1st Choice! ALL WHITE: Every one in all white, belts and shoes included. The best choice - it looks classy!

  • 2nd Choice! ALL WHITE SHIRTS AND KHAKI SLACKS OR SKIRTS: Every one in all white and khaki. If your belt is not light in tone, then don’t wear a belt. A great choice - it looks classy!

3rd Choice! ALL WHITE SHIRTS AND LIGHT BLUE JEANS SLACKS OR SKIRTS: Every one in all white and light blue jeans. A good choice - it looks nice and casual!

Other Choices

  • FAMILY OF BROWNS: Light brown, beige, warm gray and off white. Other possibilities - tan, peach, pink, mauve, pale yellow and light rust.
  • FAMILY OF BLUES: Light blue, gray, and white. Other possibilities - blue-gray, off-white, lavender, cranberry, pink and beige.
  • FAMILY OF REDS: Pink, gray, cranberry and rose. Other possibilities - lavender, plum, beige and off white.

Do not use pure red. Red is the strongest color and draws more attention than any other color.

PARK PORTRAITS STUDIO (with dark colored background) HOME (if you have dark colored walls)

We suggest middle to dark tone clothing, dark shoes are appropriate. Casual clothing is suggested outdoors because many of the poses are sitting or lying in the grass. Long sleeves are preferable with darker clothing. Bare arms are uncomplimentary in photographs. Deep cool colors will make you look thinner and llight colors make you look heavier. Everyone should be in the same family of colors so that they blend with each other.

  • FAMILY OF BROWNS: dark brown, warm gray, rose, burgundy. Other possibilities - maroon & rust.
  • FAMILY OF BLUES: dark blue, cool gray, & navy Other possibilities - purple, dark green
  • BLACK: every one in all black, belts and shoes included.

Childrens Portraits

  • "Pregnancy Portrait" at 8 1/2 months into the pregnancy
  • "Mother and Child Portrait" at one month
  • 3 Month Portrait
  • 6 Month Portrait
  • 12 Month Portrait
  • 18 Month Portrait
  • 2 Year Portrait
  • Each year near their birthday

I have a number of clients that will pick out a certain year, such as 1,2 or 5, and treat that one as special for all of their children. As an example, from each of their children's 1st birthdays, they order a beautiful wall portrait and frame it nicely. As the years roll by they then will group all of the one year old portraits together of all of their children. It creates a wonderful and meaningful presentation.

We typically use very few props. We do not like to clutter the scene with too many props. Something to sit on and maybe an accent piece. Through the years we have collected numerous children's size chairs.

What we feel really personalizes a portrait is for you to bring in something special to you or your child. A family heirloom perhaps? Or a rocking horse? We have done portraits with the child's collection. Stuffed animals, Star War figures, whatever is important to them! Bring in their bike, scooter, tricycle, sports or dance items - anything that is about what they do. Oh, and pets are welcome also!

Clothing Changes

During most of our children's portrait sessions they will wear two different outfits. The first one is more formal and dressy. The second one is much more playful. One outfit is fine, two is great, three and the child is getting tired, four is just too many. One or two is best.

Many Images for you to Choose

During an average children's portrait session we may create 50 to 150 images during the hour of time that we schedule for a children's portrait. After the session we edit that down to 25 to 50 images to present to you. With our children's ala carte pricing system you may purchase anything you would like. Any image, any size, any quantity, any finish, anything you want!