When I am working with a client on a special (and surprise!) gift such as this, I feel the most important thing I can do is LISTEN to their needs and desires, integrating exactly what they want into their portrait. While I may suggest few things - color, scale, what picture would make the best painting, I know that my number one job is to make the client happy (closely followed by making them look GOOD!)
This series (shown in reverse order from start to finish) shows how frequently I update my clients, getting feedback and sharing in the process. That's another aspect that makes ordering a custom portrait so much fun! The interaction with the artist as the piece is being developed. The anticipation of seeing it from one step to the next!
If you have any questions on the process, or would like some ideas on how to take a great photo for a custom portrait, I would be happy to help you. You can leave a comment or contact me thru my Etsy Shop. I have had female clients create work for their significant others, but I have also had male clients buy gift certificates for their partners as well -trust me ladies - he thinks your gorgeous and loves your figure! Go for it!
You can see more samples of my custom portrait paintings and drawings in this section of my Etsy shop.
PS...many thanks to my fabulous friend/client who said "go for it!" when I asked permission to share her portrait with you. Let me assure you...NO ONE gets to see your pictures if you don't want them to!