The Military Portraits Project

I'm a photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can see my work here on this site.

Starting next month, I will be hosting portrait sessions for serving military personnel (active and reserve) and/or their families at my studio in San Francisco about once every six weeks or so. 

This is a free service for military personnel and their families. I will attempt to have a hair/makeup artist there for those who would like one. You will get full-resolution color-corrected and edited files that you can have printed at your printer of choice. 

So what's the catch? Well, the pictures might suck. You might hate them. In which case, I'll apologize for wasting your time. Also, I don't do any heavy Photoshopping, so apart from removing the odd pimple or two, I won't be doing any massive retouching of your images. 

Other than that, there really is no catch. If you look at my website, you'll notice that I don't offer any services you can purchase. There's nothing for me to upsell you to. I don't have a deal with a printer to sell you albums or large canvases of your photos (though I can make recommendations if you like). All of my work is self-driven; I make photos when I want to, of subjects that interest me. My photography income comes from working for companies like Amazon, Shutterfly, and Lombard & Fifth. Currently, I'm on a break from commercial projects. 

I'm doing this because I have a great deal of respect for our men and women in uniform and would like to be able to do something nice for them and their families. I'm disabled, so I can't serve myself, and that also precludes a number of volunteer opportunities for me. But I'm not bad with a camera, so this seemed like a good idea. My sister-in-law's husband is active-duty Navy, and she thought it this would be cool as well, so here I am. 

If you're interested, please contact me via the form below and I'll add you to a list of folks I'll inform when I set a date, most likely in the first or second week of each month. No, I'm not adding you to a marketing list. Again: Nothing to market.

If you have a family member who's leaving for a deployment and would like to arrange something sooner, drop me a line. I may be able to swing an after-hours shoot at my studio before the date. 

To qualify for this, you will need to provide proof of service. That's it. There are no fees, no charges (well, you might have to pay for street parking if you drive to my studio), nothing. I will have a model release for you to sign that will clearly state that you're giving me permission to take your photo and that the photo is for your own personal, non-commercial use only. 

For those of you who know what it means, I'm not assigning any usage rights to myself other than what's required to make the photos available to you in a private gallery for you to download (yeah, that does require legalese, believe it or not). 

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Don't bring me anything :). I appreciate the thought and the gesture, but I'm doing this to say thank you to our men and women in uniform. The family I photographed earlier today wanted to give me money, which was kind of them, but that's not why I'm doing this.
  • Clothes: Bring at least one change of clothing with you. I strongly recommend solid colors as patterns tend to clash. You don't have to match clothing with your spouse and kids unless you want to. Things to keep in mind are:
    • Dark colors prevent the camera from making you look heavier than you really are.
    • For men, long-sleeves are better than short; you can roll up long sleeves but can't make short ones longer :)
    • For women, I recommend bringing both pants and skirts/dresses. 
    • Uniforms: I recommend either fatigues or service dress. Mess dress might be a bit much :). 
  • Photo settings: We will be shooting indoors in my studio in front of a dark or light backdrop, depending on what you bring with you. The shot breakdown looks like this:
    • Individual head-and-shoulders photo for each person.
    • Family group photo.
    • Couple's photo.
    • Each parent with children separately. 
  • On-site amenities and things to keep in mind: 
    • My studio is slightly industrial and part of a shared space with other artists, including painters, sculptors, print makers, and more. Please be mindful of their work, and keep an eye on young children. Some of the pieces there (such as some of the large paintings) carry 5-figure price tags. 
    • There are restrooms in the basement level.
    • I'll have drinks on hand, but feel free to bring your own. If you do, please bring bottled drinks with screw caps only.
    • There is street parking in front of the studio building and metered parking behind the building and on 15th street as well. 

Interested? Fill out the form below.

Name of Serviceperson *
Name of Serviceperson
Phone *
(If you're filling this form out for yourself, please answer "Self")
Do you need rush processing to accommodate an upcoming deployment or some other reason? *
(place and special needs or requests here)