How To Get The Best Family Portraits – Guaranteed!

What if you absolutely knew your next family portrait would be the best one ever?

Family Portrait

James came to the location we chose and used it to show the love in our family. He captured the love and bond our family shares and each personality. -Sarah T.

Dear Friend,

Your family is changing so fast, isn’t it? Your children (and yes, they will still be your “children” even when they’re married and have kids of their own) are growing up, and becoming more like adults every day. Don’t you wish you could just “freeze time” and hold these special moments forever?

My name is James Thoenes and capturing wonderful family memories is what I’ve devoted my life to. I’m a professional family photographer, but more than that, I’m just like you… I’m a family person.

We Can Stop Time. Memories Are The Most Valuable Thing We Own.

Can you relate to this at all? I wake up every morning and wonder where the time is going. Do you ever do that? Have you noticed that, the older you and your children get, the faster time seems to fly? I’m very lucky – I get to see my mother and brother almost daily because they live here in town. But, I don’t see my sister often and my father died many years ago.

I Would Give Just About ANYTHING IN THE WORLD To Have A Fine Family Portrait Of My Family before my father died.

This is going to be hard to believe. I’m a professional photographer, and we never had a family photograph created of our family. Not one that I am thrilled with, at least. We have some snapshots taken at holidays. We even have some of those cheap chain portrait studio portraits. Honestly, some of the snapshots look better than the chain portraits. The lighting is awful, our clothes don’t match, and we look uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable, that’s because we were.

What I wouldn’t give to be able to go back in time, and have one nice portrait of the five of us where we look like the close family we were. That’s one of the reasons I became a professional photographer – I want to help other families hold on to their family memories forever, and never regret not having a meaningful family portrait done.

You’ll see some portraits here of families that have had their lives enriched with a meaningful family portrait— But There Were Things Even They Didn’t Know When They Started Looking For A Photographer…

If you’re at all like most of the families on this website, you probably haven’t given a lot of thought to having a family portrait created. Don’t worry – that’s pretty normal. You’ve got a lot of things going on in your life. Life is busier and crazier every day.

Family life in particular seems to be happening at an ever-accelerating pace.

5 Myths, Mistakes, And Misconceptions About Having A Family Portrait Created – The Stuff 99% Of All People In The World Don’t Know:

By visiting my website, you must at least be considering having a portrait of your family created. Well, that’s great – you will probably never make a decision that will bring you more lasting joy. However, there are some things you NEED to know before you and your loved ones step in front of any camera. By the time you finish reading this single page, you will know everything you need to know about how to have the perfect family portrait created – the one you will cherish forever!

You may feel that having a family portrait done is something that will turn out the same no matter what choices you make, after all, most of the family doesn’t really feel like it’s a big deal, right? At least, until they see them and don’t like it. Well, there are many choices that can really make the portrait fun for everyone and make the portrait a whole lot more special than that portrait you had done for Christmas cards last year. In fact, that could almost be one of the “myths or mistakes” right there. As long as you know the information on this site, you’ll know what to do to make the difference between a “ho hum” portrait and one you will cherish and want to display for a very long time.

….So, let’s jump right in!

#1 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception: “There’s No Way To GUARANTEE I Will Love My Family Portraits.”

WRONG! Depending on who creates your family portrait, that is. Just suppose you had a family portrait created, and your son or daughter didn’t look natural in it. The photograph was “OK,” but it didn’t turn out spectacular. Should you have to pay for it? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I believe strongly that no one should ever have to pay for a photograph that isn’t PERFECT. That’s why I am the only photographer in my area to offer the following guarantee:

CHECK THIS OUT – A Guarantee Unlike Any You’ve Ever Heard:

If Your Family Doesn’t Look The Happiest & Best They’ve Ever Looked Together In These Photographs – If You Don’t Cry (tears of joy) When You Look At Them – You Don’t Pay Me For Them.

That’s my guarantee and personal promise to you. As far as I know, there’s no other photographer around that will make you this super guarantee. These photographs will be completely meaningless to you unless they convey the real emotions and relationships between you and your loved ones. That’s the only real reason to have a family portrait created.

So, if FOR ANY REASON you feel that the photographs I create for you are anything less than perfect – if you don’t actually cry when I show them to you for the first time, you don’t pay me for them. It’s that simple.

Obviously, I’m totally confident that the portraits I create of you and your family will be well beyond anything you imagine. I believe completely that these photographs will become your most prized possessions – that, if your house were on fire, you would grab them on the way out of your burning home. This is not arrogance. I can’t stand arrogance. No, this is a complete belief in my abilities to capture natural, real emotions and family relationships on film unlike anyone else. That’s what I’ve devoted my life to, and that’s why I can’t wait to photograph your family for you.

So, To Restate, Here’s My Fantastic DOUBLE GUARANTEE:

If you are not THRILLED with your photographs – if you are dissatisfied for ANY reason at all, I will do two things for you:

1st – At NO CHARGE, I will photograph your family again, and make sure that anything that wasn’t perfect is fixed, without you paying another cent.

2nd – If I am absolutely unable to thrill you – if I’m unable to create a photograph that you feel you will cherish forever, I will refund EVERY PENNY you invested in them. You don’t pay for your photographs you don’t want unless you love them beyond expression!

If I don’t end up being your photographer, make ABSOLUTELY SURE your photographer offers this strong of a guarantee. If they are good, they should back up their work by taking all the risk off of you.

#2 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception: “All Family Portraits Are Created Equal.”

INCORRECT. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re at all like most people, you’ve probably had this question going through your mind: “How do I choose the right photographer?” In fact, you may even have thought of someone in your family – an uncle, a grandparent, even a friend – who is a bit of an amateur photographer. Why not just have that person create the photograph of your family?

Family Portrait

What makes your family unique? Where do you spend time as a family?

Question: “Just Suppose Someone Were To Create The Perfect Family Portrait – One Where You And Your Loved Ones Looked Better Than Ever, Happier Than Ever – A Portrait That Meant The World To You – What Would That Be Worth?”

No price tag can be put on your family’s memories. They are and always will be priceless. So, why would you ever want to gamble with those memories? It’s just a question of whether you believe a portrait of your family could really mean that much to you.

If you were sick, and had to go to a doctor, would you want the “cheapest” doctor, or the best one? Well, there’s really no question. It’s the same thing with your family’s memories. You can certainly find a cheaper photographer in town. But there are other things to consider than just price…

The Photographer You Choose Should Care About YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR MEMORIES, Not Just About “Making A Buck” Off You.

One of my goals is to be like a family friend of every family I photograph. You see, I didn’t get into photography to get rich. Believe me, there are better (and easier) ways to make a fast buck. I actually went to college to become an engineer and later for computers. I could be making a WHOLE lot of money if I were to stay in that line of work.

But I CHOSE to become a professional family photographer. Why did I make that career choice? Because I finally realized that all the money in the world meant nothing to me if I didn’t feel like I was making a difference.

I Realized That Memories Were Priceless – That There Was No More Noble Or Wonderful Profession Than To Become A “Memory Giver.”

I didn’t become a portrait photographer just because I liked to take pictures. There are lots of different types of photography that I could have specialized in. In fact, there was a time when portrait photography was not the leading type of photography I wanted to specialize in. But something happened to me that changed the way I feel about portrait photography forever.

When my father died and I realized that we don’t have a portrait of our family that show how close we were, I knew that I wanted to prevent that from happening to other families.

Probably the fondest memories of our family I have were just before my father got ill. We had some great family vacations together. Then around the Holidays one year he noticed a lump. After months of treatment, we thought he was better only to see the cancer return in late summer. He died the following winter.

I Only Wish I Had A Photograph Of All Five Of Us Together. That Would Be One Of The Most Priceless Things I Own.

I came to realize that a portrait of the ones you love can be one of the most important things money can buy. Nothing can compare to a portrait where everyone looks great and looks like they are having a good time. It’s like freezing time in a place of your happiest memory.

Time is the one thing that none of us have enough of. It’s the one thing that money can’t buy. It’s the one thing that we all would give just about anything for. It’s also the one thing we never know how much of it we have. Through photography, we can hold on to the moments in our lives that we wish could last forever. And, if it’s done correctly, these same photographs can become almost like works of art that we display in our homes for everyone to see and share.

Don’t Make The Decision As To Who Will Photograph Your Family Until You Chat With Me. There Are Things You’ll Want To Ask The Photographers…

There’s no cost, and no obligation to just chat with me, and it will make the whole difference as to how great your portraits will look. Simply CLICK HERE to find out how to contact me by phone, just to chat.

Don’t worry. I’m not going to try to “sell you” on working with me. I’m already very busy, and I don’t need to pressure anyone to work with me as a photographer. In truth, I may not be the right photographer for you and that’s OK. I’ll just talk to you about your portraits, and help you discover what your photographs could be like.

If you decide to have me create your portraits – great. If not, no problem.

#3 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception: “Family Portraits Have To Be Created In A Professional Studio – And They Have To Look Boring.”

If you’re like most people, when you think of a PROFESSIONAL family portrait, you think of all of you gathered in front of a “painted background” in a photography studio, posed unnaturally, and all saying “cheese” as the photographer snaps the picture. Now, is that something any family will cherish for a lifetime? Probably not. Yes, it may capture the whole family together, but unless it is really done right, it’s not going to capture the relationships of your family, your family’s love. I believe there is a place for studio portraits and backgrounds but most of the time, there is a much better option.

Picture instead: All of your most loved ones in your favorite room in your home. Or outside on the new deck you just had built. Or in your backyard by the pine trees that give your yard so much character. Maybe it’s created somewhere special to your family or doing something your family enjoys doing as a family. All of you are dressed in clothes the photographer helped you chose – clothing that makes you all look great and looks good in a photograph.

Well, that’s what makes all the difference, and that’s what I will do for you.

And This is SO Important: All Of You Feel Totally Comfortable In Front Of The Camera!

Do you know ANYONE who feels totally comfortable in front of a camera? I’ll bet you don’t. I don’t. I hate my driver’s license photograph. Nearly everyone I’ve ever met tells me the same thing: “I never look natural in pictures.” The last thing you want is a photograph where you or your family members have that fake “posed” look on your face.

That’s why it’s so important that you feel very natural and comfortable with your photographer. Just think of how great your family would look if your best friend was creating the photograph. They would all look so happy and natural! I take pride in developing very close relationships with all my clients, and their entire family.

Plus, I understand the “psychology” of photography. Learning the technical aspects – what lenses to use, what lighting looks best, how clothing adds and subtracts weight on film – all of those things were only the tip of the iceberg. Without being able to make each and every one of your family members look and feel comfortable (and natural) on film, all those technical things would amount to nothing.

You’ll NEVER hear me utter the words “say cheese.”

That’s a surefire way of getting expressions that look totally fake and unnatural. No – a great photographer knows that, in order to get a great expression from a subject, you need to get to know that subject a bit – to know what will make them smile naturally. That’s what I do, and I love it! I will get to know your whole family so well, and they will feel so comfortable with me, that their expressions will be perfect every time.

#4 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception: “There’s No One To Help Me Make Choices About Clothing, Hair, Makeup, Location, etc…”

Okay, normally you would be right thinking that. However, I am different. I’m going to help you with all of those things. We’ll work together in planing every part of your family portrait so that everything is set to make it the best photograph possible before a single photograph is created.

You’ll get my years of experience to help you make the choices that other photographers don’t take the time to think about.

Okay, by now you are probably considering having a family portrait created. You may even be considering choosing me as your photographer – but I don’t want you to make that decision just yet.

No matter who creates your photographs for you, you will need to make some decisions. What clothing should your family wear? Where should this photograph be created? How heavy should the makeup be on the ladies in the photograph? There are a number of things to think about, and I will walk you through all of them personally.


Pick up the phone, and call me. CLICK HERE for the number. Don’t have time to chat right now? You can also email me from the contact form here.

Even if it’s after business hours, still call right now. I’ve got voice mail that is just waiting to cheerfully take your message, and I’ll personally call you back so we can chat. Let me know when is a good time to call you back and I’ll do my best to call then too. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to “pressure” you at all into working with me. Plus, there’s no cost at all for us just to chat.

When you call, we’ll chat briefly about the things you need to know. I’ll tell you a bit about me. I’ll answer all your questions about how to prepare for a family portrait. It won’t be a long call, but it will be one of the most important calls you make.

#5 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception: “There’s No Rush To Have A Family Portrait Created Right Now.”

You know how things are. If you don’t pick up the phone right now, and at least call me to chat about your family portrait, you will probably get swamped with other things, and forget all about it. Then, before you know it, a year – two years – five years have gone by. How different will your family be then?

I shared with you above how I missed the opportunity we had to have a professional family portrait together. One that was artistic. One that showed how close we were. A portrait that made us each look great.

You see, time is ticking…. and it’s never going to stop.

First, Your Child Takes His or Her First Step. Next, Learns To Ride A Bike. Later, Gets A Driver’s License. Graduates From High School. Gets Married. Starts A Family Of His or Her Own. Your family is never the same.

These are precious times, and although things will change, this moment never has to slip from your fingers.

Don’t put this off. You know how life is. We put things off, and before we know it, everything has changed. If your life is half as crazy as mine is, year after year you find yourself frustrated at the things you wanted to do, and never got done. A family portrait is something you deserve.

Plus, You Will Save 50% By Acting Right Now!

Just suppose you call my studio and chat with me. Just suppose you decide you would like me to be your photographer. For a limited time, If you are one of the next 50 people to call me, you’ll save 50% off the creation of your family portrait.

What does that mean? All you do is call me to chat. I’ll answer all your questions about family photography. Even if you need to wait a few months you’ll save 50% off the creation of your portrait just for calling now.  It’s that simple!

Life is so terribly short. But, at the same time, life is such a wonderful gift. And the memories we keep of these moments with our family will last forever.

Why Your Family Portrait Will Become More Valuable To You Than Anything Else In Your Home:

Do you have a photograph of your family that, if you were running from your burning home, would be the one thing you save (other than your family members, of course) on the way out?

Now, I’m not talking about a “snapshot” that was taken during a family outing on the Fourth Of July. I’m talking about a wonderful photograph, created by a professional photographer, that not only captures your family’s true bonds and relationships, but also does so in a way that you’d be proud to display openly in your home for the rest of your life.

It’s Not Too Late. This Moment, Right Now, Can Be Held Onto For The Rest Of Your Life – For You To Share With Family And Friends.

You don’t have to make a big decision right now. You don’t have to choose your photographer – you don’t even have to decide that now is the time for your family portrait. Just take one small step toward holding onto your family’s happiest moments RIGHT NOW.

Just Call My Studio, And We’ll Chat. And, Remember, If You Decide You Want Me To Create Your Family Portrait, Save 50% Off It’s Creation. It’s All Up To You.

Once again, CLICK HERE for my studio number, and you can call any time. If I don’t answer, just leave your name and number at the beep, and I’ll call you back. If you’re thinking of this family photograph as a GIFT FOR SOMEONE, let me know, so when I call back, I only ask for you, and don’t spoil the surprise!

The Perfect Family Portrait Is Only One Phone Call Away…

Make the call now. It will be a call you will be glad you made for the rest of your life. I look forward to hearing from you.


James E. Thoenes

Photographic Portrait Artist

P.S. – Remember, call me just to chat, and if you’re one of the first 50 people to do so, you will save 50% off the creation of your family portraits! There’s no cost, and no obligation for this chat. Your family portraits shouldn’t be trusted to any photographer who doesn’t realize what a responsibility it is to make sure these portraits are perfect. These are your memories – don’t trust them to just anyone. You’ve nothing to lose, and so many great memories to gain. Call my studio now – no cost, no obligation – CLICK HERE TO CALL ME .

P.P.S. – STILL NOT READY TO CALL? That’s okay. You can also send me an email through the contact form here.