family portrait composite photography of ruff family by dallas portrait photographer jason ulsrud

How a Year and 58 Images Built the Ruff’s Family Portrait

Have you ever had a Family Portrait made that took you almost a year to make? From start to finish, it took your Portrait Photographer almost a year to create? If this sounds unusual, then you haven’t stepped into the world of Photillustrator where just about anything is possible when it comes to Family Portraits.

Today, I’m going to show you how, and why, the Ruff’s Family Portrait called “Our New Home” took 58 individual images and almost one year to create.

As a Dallas Portrait Photographer who creates Uniquely Different Portraits for Uniquely Different People, each Family Portrait I create is as Uniquely Different as the Family I work with, which results in a Unique Experience each time.

Now, get your hammer and nails ready because I’m going to take you behind-the-scenes of the making of “Our New Home”.

Behind Our New Home

I met Jon and Kathy Ruff through an amazing money raising event for Stonewall Jackson, and they were the winning bidders on the Signature Family Portrait I donated for their Silent Auction event. I work with a lot of people through Silent Auctions, but when I met with Jon and Kathy and we brainstormed ideas during their Discovery Session, I knew this was going to be a really fun project.

“This is PERFECT! You did such a great job…”, said Jon during the Big Reveal of their Family Portrait.

family portrait composite photography of ruff family by dallas portrait photographer jason ulsrud

I believe, however, that any Portrait is only as good as the people in the Portrait.

Creating an Amazing Family Portrait like Jon and Kathy’s starts with YOU, and the Amazing cast of characters you call your family. Along with a Uniquely Different Portrait Concept, many hours of creation time, and custom printing, your Family Portrait will come to life like no other Portrait you’ve ever had made before.

During the Ruff’s Big Reveal for their Family Portrait, I was asked, “How do you come up with this and create these portraits?”

To be honest, I’m not sure where the inspiration comes from, but when I’m sitting with your family during your Discovery Session and we’re brainstorming ideas for your Portrait, a vision comes to me and I see your Portrait in my mind.

From there, I create a Concept Sketch for you to approve or make changes to, and through a Creative Process, I can’t explain, your Uniquely Different Portrait comes to life.

58 Images of Our New Home

The most important thing about your Uniquely Different Portrait by Photillustrator is that you totally LOVE it, but it’s pretty cool to see how something so Different comes together behind-the-scenes.

Your Amazing Portrait starts from many simple pieces.

You may think this is a “painting”, but the simple truth is it’s actually a Photo. Well, it’s many Photo’s blended together using a technique called Composite Photography, then I run it through my top secret Photillustrator Process to give it an illustrative look and feel, which is what I’ve become known for.

I painstakingly cut every image out, knocking out the undesirable background, and through many hours of computer time and some carpal tunnel, I piece everything together like a big jigsaw puzzle.

composite photography breakdown of the ruff family portrait

#1: Jon
#2: Kathy
#3: Quinn Body
#4: Quinn Leg
#5: Bonner & Doggy
#6: Grandpa
#7: Grandma
#8: Grandparents Photo
#9: Main House Photo
#10: House Door
#11: House Right Side
#12: Construction Lumber
#13: Ground
#14: Buckets
#15: Tractor
#16: Scrap Pile
#17: Electrical Box
#18: Pile of Dirt
#19: Small Tractor

#20: Chevy Suburban
#21: Neighborhood
#22: Trees
#23: Rocket Building
#24: Power Building
#25: Green Building
#26: Hyatt Building
#27: Sky
#28: Birds
#29: Birds
#30: Tree Branch 1
#31: Tree Branch 2
#32: Tree Branch 3
#33: Flying Leaf 1
#34: Flying Leaf 2
#35: Flying Leaf 3
#36: Flying Leaf 4
#37: Flying Leaf 5
#38: Flying Leaf 6

#39: Flying Leaf 7
#40: Leaf 1
#41: Leaf 2
#42: Leaf 3
#43: Leaf 4
#44: Leaf 5
#45: Leaf 6
#46: String of Bows
#47: Bow
#48: Tractor Sticker 1
#49: Tractor Sticker 2
#50: Stonewall Jackson
#51: Plans Tube
#52: Rolled up Plan
#53: Flying Plan 1
#54: Flying Plan 2
#55: Flying Plan 3
#56: Flying Plan 4
#57: Flying Plan 5
#58: New House

A Look Behind the Curtain

I gotta be honest here, as amazed as you are by how your Uniquely Different Portrait comes together, I’m just as amazed, especially when I see the Before and Afters of all the images used to create your Family Portrait.

composite photography before and after of jon

composite photography before and after of kathy

composite photography before and after of quinn

composite photography before and after of tractor taken with iphone

That’s a Wrap

The best way to describe how your Uniquely Different Portrait comes together is that I get into a ZONE, something like a ZEN state, where everything leaves my mind and the only thing that exists is your Portrait.

I’m 100% focused on you and what you would be thinking at that exact moment in time, and how you would most like to see yourself within the crazy scene we’re creating.

If you truly want a Uniquely Different Family Portrait where your Portrait Photographer is 100% invested in bringing your story to life, I would love to work with you.

(BTW… This Amazing Portrait of the Ruff family took almost a year so we could chronicle their new home being built.)

In a world where anything is possible, let your imagination go, and let me know what your Uniquely Different Portrait would look like.

Comments (2)

Amazing job capturing an incredibly emotional journey like designing and building your families dream home. The Ruff’s are such quality folks. I was fortunate and privileged to have done the architectural design and construction of their project. You captured them beautifully and with their individual personas as well. I was awed when I saw your work over their library fireplace.

Thanks so much Matt. I was lucky to have the opportunity to work with the Ruffs, who, like you said, are great people. I have to say I was in AWE when I found out their home was a custom build. Wow! You did an amazing job, and our artwork will bring the Ruff’s a lot of happiness.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.