3 Tips for Taking a Beautiful Portrait

Tips for taking beautiful portrait photography #photography by Gayle Vehar for lilblueboo.comPhotographing Beautiful Portraits

Fall is the time when we are taking and having our portraits taken. I just love a beautiful portrait—one that is beautiful to look at and shares something about the person and their personality.

Today I wanted to share 3 simple tips for creating a beautiful portrait that can be used over and over again no matter the season.

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East Coast Cutie

This is a portrait commission I finished in early December for a family living in North Carolina. It was a Christmas gift from the boy’s grandparents.

East Coast Cutie via lilblueboo.com
It’s a tough job painting such a beautiful child but someone has to do it….

East Coast Cutie 2 via lilblueboo.com
Closeup of vintage handwriting:

East Coast Cutie 3 via lilblueboo.com
I remembered to take a few photos of the process this time. I am a very messy painter. I paint the image, then paint layers over it. Then sand it down….

East Coast Cutie 4 via lilblueboo.com

…..repaint the image in different shades of dark and light, then paint more layers on top….and repeat about 30 times.

East Coast Cutie 5 via lilblueboo.com

To see more of my commission work click here for recent work or visit my painting website here.

In the weeds….

I’m in the weeds. I love using that phrase. I used it all the time back in my investment banking days. I’ve got a local boutique show “Artisans & Commodities” in a few days. But here is where I am struggling…..my Lil Blue Boo blog has become a place where my painting, sewing, crafting, Lil Golf Girl, homemaking, journaling can come together. Outside of the blog world though it is hard to pinpoint what I do…..am I a painter? am I a crafter? am I a pattern maker? What am I? How do I reconcile all of it into one? What do I take to a boutique? How about everything!
All day I’ve been:
….putting tags onto Lil Golf Girl shirts….
In the weeds lil golf girl shirts via lilblueboo.com
….putting tags on nursery art….
In the weeds nursery art via lilblueboo.com
….pulling out different portraits, nursery paintings to show examples of commissioned work….
In the weeds portraits and paintings via lilblueboo.com
…..sending patterns off to my rockin’ printer Plan-It Reprographics to be printed and bound….
In the weeds patterns via lilblueboo.com
….pulling out signage to make sure it hasn’t been crushed in storage….
In the weeds signage via lilblueboo.com
Look at these great t-shirt colors I found today. Now all I want to do is some sewing.
In the weeds t-shirt colors via lilblueboo.com
So that is it for today. Sorry, not much new to share. Now I’ve got to take a break….and start getting dinner ready. My sister and fiance are still visiting. I’m off to pick up Sienna and get groceries for fish tacos! Yum!
Have a wonderful Friday night!

Painted Portraits

Custom Painted Portraits via lilblueboo.com
Sienna – November 2008 – 18″ x 18″ (2″ gallery canvas)


You won’t find portraits like these anywhere else! I’ve spent years working on my process of layering and distressing so that each portrait is a unique family heirloom.
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 2 via lilblueboo.com
I paint my original portraits from photograph using acrylic paint and other mixed media.
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits Boo via lilblueboo.com
Original “Sienna” reference photo
I love to include ephemera such as copies of old family letters, a stitched outline of a church, or images that represent a child’s interests etc. Many paintings include stitching, vintage watch parts and stamps, old ledger paper and other items from my collection.
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 3 via lilblueboo.com
Detail of “Sienna” – Vintage stamps, paint layering, old ledger paper and handwriting
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 4 via lilblueboo.com
Closeup of “Sienna” shirt detail
Detailed views from several portraits:
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 5 via lilblueboo.com
Vintage travel stamp, vintage car ad, gold stitching
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 6 via lilblueboo.com
Vintage handwriting, vintage watch parts attached
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 7 via lilblueboo.com
Reproduction of an old family bank book (this was given to me by the family to include)
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 8 via lilblueboo.com
Vintage postage stamp, gold stitching
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 9 via lilblueboo.com
Vintage car ad, gold stitching
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 10 via lilblueboo.comVintage train advertisement (the child I painted this for LOVED trains)
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 11 via lilblueboo.com
Vintage travel ad (the little girl featured in the painting has a love for zebras)