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Commissioned Portrait: Where to Begin

Over the last few years, I’ve been asked about children’s portraits and if I had a source for them.

Truthfully, I didn’t — until I met the ladies behind Portrait Associates. These kind-hearted moms have built a network of artists with varying styles, mediums and price points so that families can select an option that works best for them.

I sat down with them this summer to learn more about the process and see some of their portraits in-person. My husband and I would like to have portraits done of our three kids so I was partially asking questions to share helpful information with you all and partially asking for personal reasons!

I hope this blog leaves you feeling more educated and inspired to take the next step in capturing your loved ones in whatever season they are in. It will be a piece treasured and passed down for generations.

Okay, so now for some questions!

How do I commission a portrait?

To get started, reach out to a Portrait Associates representative (see the end for details), and they will guide you through the process, answer your questions and help you select the portrait artist that will work best for you. They will help you decide based on personal taste and style, budget and timing. 

After I select an artist, what should I expect next?

The Portrait Associate representative (i.e., another mom who understands how big of a decision this is) will be in close contact with you as she makes the necessary arrangements to find a mutually convenient sitting date. The representative will then coordinate the travel arrangements for the artist and will serve as a mediator between you and the artist throughout the process. Prior to and during the sitting, your representative will help with any questions you have related to wardrobe, location, props, etc.

What should I expect at the sitting?

Once the artist arrives, the artist will meet you and your family, discuss any final details then will begin. During the sitting, the artist will take a number of photographs so that after the sitting you and the artist can sit down and review together to select the photos that best capture the look and personality of your child.

How long does a portrait commission take?

Depending on the artist, you can expect the portrait to be delivered within 6 months to 1 year.

These services are so helpful, but will it cost me more to go through Portrait Associates?

Actually, no! There is no additional cost to you and the price is the same as that offered by the artist if you were to contact the artist directly. It’s a service the artists pay for because it helps take out the coordinating and sales aspect of their job so they can do what they love best, paint!

How much does it cost to commission a portrait?

For even more examples of portraits, visit the Portrait Associates website.

Click here for an exclusive home tour I did this summer with Portrait Associates featuring several beautiful portraits.

For specific questions and to get started on your own portrait, you can reach out to one of the following representatives listed below:

Charlotte, NC | Quinerly Cowden ( and Elizabeth Pitts (

Atlanta, GA | Bonnie Sugrue (

Raleigh, NC | Sarah Wood ( and Elizabeth Dixon (

Greenville, SC | Kate Madden (

Greensboro, NC and Nashville, TN | Rebecca Sheaff (

Charleston, SC | Mary McClean Vincent (

Morehead City, NC | Katie McClintic (

Wilson, NC | Mary Clayton McGee (

For all other cities, please reach out to Elizabeth Pitts ( or Elizabeth Dixon (

Commissioned Portrait: Where to Begin

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