A conversation with Don House
Why do you only photograph people in black & white?
“While I will take color if there is a specific need for a press release or advertising, I prefer b&w for its unique power to isolate and focus attention on the face of the person being photographed. There are no distractions. There is also a strong multi-generational association of b&w with honesty, and honesty is a key ingredient of my work”
Why are your prices higher than some other studios and chain stores?
“There are two serious concerns with portraiture. One is the power and effectiveness and honesty of the image itself – does it represent the personality and character of the subject? A portrait is so much more than a snapshot, and I’ve had over thirty years of experience in knowing when to pull the trigger, so to speak. There is a lot of experience and attention and love wrapped up in these photographs, and they are a bargain.”
“And what good is a wonderful portrait if it fades into oblivion in a few years? My prints are not machine batched, but made one at a time using carefully chosen pigment inks and acid-free papers that will guarantee the longevity of your photographs for generations. Regardless of whether photographs are made using traditional silver printing or more modern digital techniques, there are standards for producing long lasting prints, and those are more costly and require more time to perform.”
“ Also, I consider your portrait to be an historical record as well as a work of fine art and I feel a responsibility to protect it. Whether I use film or digital techniques to capture the image, the ‘negatives’ are carefully stored and catalogued so that you can call me thirty years after the fact (it has happened!) and I can pull your portrait and reprint. That takes time and money, but I attended the old school, and it’s not optional.”
Can I include a pet ?
“ Absolutely! "
Will I see proofs?
“ Yes, within a week or so after your session, you will have printed proofs to choose from. “
How long after I order prints will they arrive?
“ Generally, within 10 days or less.”
Do you do framing?
“ Yes, I work with professional framers who are familiar with conservation framing – the techniques that help guarantee the longevity of your photograph. You can work directly with the framers, or I will have the work done for you.”