The process of making a portrait is highly personal and is customized to the unique needs and situation of every one of Michelle Valborg Kondos' subjects. Typically, the artist travels to the client's location for a photo session and to obtain information needed to complete a portrait commission. Normally, this would entail a day or two at the client's home or office.
One central aim of the visit is simply to allow the artist to get to know the subject at a human level. That familiarity is essential to the magic of portraiture. Together, artist and subject consider the most appropriate pose, along with questions of setting, clothing, and other concrete details. Even more centrally, they reflect on the intended mood and spirit of the painting. What does the client seek to convey? Formal gravity? Happiness? A playful spirit? At this time there will be a photo shoot lasting approximately 1 1/2 hours.
The artist and the client review the photographs and together they make the final selection of the images which the artist then uses as reference to create the portrait in the studio. Even though the photograph is a critical ingredient in the process, the portrait, of course, will not simply be "a painting of the photograph." It includes and reflects all the more the subtle nuances of character, intention, and spirit which animate the client's inner and and outer life.