Hand-made Portraits, shipped to you:
If you won’t be near one of the posted events on the schedule, or you have wiggly children that can’t stay still, you can order a silhouette by email – delivered by mail. A Mail-Order custom artisan-created portrait is an excellent solution for distance customers, or customers with many children – you can create heirloom portraits to pass through your family, or a fun picture for gifting. These silhouettes are elegant Christmas or other gift.
Each silhouette is still cut by hand with only scissors in the traditional manner, and mounted on a card large enough to frame – that you can cut down to your frame choice, or to purchase a rare style of frame here (see below). If you value hand-made artisan work, this is a portrait for your taste!
Silhouette portraits make excellent gifts for family, friends, and loved ones, heirlooms of your own family, or just for fun. For hundreds of years over many countries, silhouettes have been a staple portrait form – they are one of the most recognized and well-loved portrait styles. These are the same style of Colonial or Victorian silhouettes you have seen (and loved) in museums or on your grandmother’s wall.
Every effort is made to create a reproduction of your loved one’s photo, not a stylized version.
Sample silhouettes can be seen here.
For your Portrait(s) – What to send:
- Send a clear, in-focus, profile (side-view) photo by email (see below on “How To Order”): Click on the image at left for hints.
- Profiles facing right are preferred.
- Sending additional photos is best – this gives you a chance to perfect the focus and the exact profile view.
- The view should show shoulders upwards to the top of the head. Make sure that the top of the head shows with space above the head.
- Try to make the picture a direct profile; not from the top, nor from behind the shoulder, nor slightly from the front. This correct profile will create the correct anatomical shape from which to cut the portrait. Sending several pictures helps to get the perfect sample photo.
- The subject should not smile or open the mouth, but look like he/she has a straight face with closed lips. (Smiling pulls the lips back and shows teeth, and distorts the true beauty of the mouth area)
- Try to show a neutral background, preferably in a light color. (It is best not to show a dark-haired person against a dark background, as an example)
- If the person has long hair, send 2 photos: one photo that shows hair length to top of head, the other that shows shoulders to top of head.
- Tip for a great portrait: if you are a woman or a girl, put your hair up or back. Ponytails, buns, or braids look exceptional in silhouettes; long, loose hair does not look as classically beautiful as these styles.
- To complete the order: See below on HOW TO ORDER.
How To Order:
Send email to email@example.com with the title “Purchase request”, and the photo and requests.
Your pricing will be estimated and sent to you. **See pricing below**
To order, you will need the following:
- PICTURES of the subject (see above, “What to send”) – especially if estimating a price.
- The number of silhouettes desired.
- OPTIONAL MAT (see below): Custom-cut oval mats – how many mats.
- OPTIONAL FRAME (see Below): Your frame style
- Preference on payment: Paypal, credit card, or check.
- CREDIT CARDS: require a phone call to get your credit card details, or you can pay credit card on Paypal. Your credit card information will *not* be retained. If you want to use your credit card for your order, please provide your phone number and 3 possible available times to call you.
- CHECK: If you would like to pay by check, please mention “check” in your order and you will be provided with an address to send your check. All orders will be created after payment is received.
- PAYPAL: If using Paypal, give the email address connected to Paypal.
- Your shipping address.
The turnaround will vary depending on travel or event schedule, but every effort will be made to send your silhouettes as timely as possible.
During holiday times, every effort will be made to get your portraits created as timely as possible. Turnaround could be 1-3 weeks from order to receiving.
Pet Portraits also:
Silhouettes by Hand has done many animals in live portraiture, so your pet can be immortalized in his/her personal silhouette. Read about pet portraits here. Send your animal’s profile image for price estimation. In most cases, pet portraits may be the same cost as human prices - full length pet portraits will be an extra cost. Create a “family portrait” of your dog, cat, bird, horse, potbelly pig, flying monkey, clouded leopard, or any one of your favorite animal friends. (Left: “Uncle Remus” the horse was captured in silhouette at a live event at Old Bedford Village, PA.). Your pet’s photo should follow the human directions above.
Silhouette Portrait Pricing:
- $30.00 for 2 (two) hand-cut silhouettes from the same image.
- Additional silhouettes from the same image will be custom-discount-priced. Many people choose this option for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives: many people order 3 sets, for 2 grandparents and for self.
- Family-portraits pricing, party favor silhouettes, or party-place holder portraits have special pricing – ie; several or many people with one order. Please write for pricing, explaining your desires.
- PLUS shipping/handling costs : Your shipping costs will vary by the amount of silhouettes requested, your frame requests (see below for frames and mats), and mailing location. In general, shipping is done by United States Post Office Priority Mail; if you have ordered frames, your package will be insured.
(OPTIONAL) Custom Oval-Opening Mats:
Historical-style 8×10″ black or off-white mats with oval openings, custom made especially for Silhouettes By Hand. Read the description on the Frames and Mats Page.
The prices are $5 each mat (before shipping and handling).
(OPTIONAL) Rare Oval or Square Frames:
Silhouettes By Hand offers rare frames if you haven’t yet decided how to present and display your silhouette, for yourself or for a gift. Presenting a silhouette in a frame looks prepared and finished. Read the descriptions on the Frames and Mats Page. These unique framing options highlight your handmade portrait.
(OPTIONAL) Costumed Portraits:
If you are a history enthusiast, you may want your portrait in your period clothing. For photos sent with historic hats, wigs, etc, will incur a slightly higher price. The higher price is due to the higher amount of time and difficulty to create your portrait. Your price will be quoted before cutting.
(OPTIONAL) Custom Full Length Portraits:
As made famous by the 19th century silhouette portraitist Augustin Eduoart, a full-length portrait can be created for you. This option is custom-priced: send email and sample full-length, profile picture to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: “Full Length Portrait” to receive your price estimate. I suggest that you view the Edouart link to see what images made him the master, and how you too can master your own portrait in this way.
Perfect reasons to create silhouette portraits:
- Starting a family tradition
- Holiday gifts: Christmas or Hanukah
- Thank you gifts
- Historical style portraits for history enthusiasts
- Party favors or place-holders (special pricing for this option will make you smile!)
- Birthday gifts
- Wedding gifts
- Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Grandparents’ Day portrait gifts of the children – or other loved ones.
- Celebration of a historical day, like Founder’s Day, George Washington’s Birthday, President’s Day, Independence Day
- Create a “Back To School” tradition every year
- Family portraits
- Wedding or engagement portraits
- Portraits of favorite famous people (profiles only, please)
Write to Lauren to ask questions or to arrange for your silhouettes.
Do you have a special request not mentioned here? Just ask! We may be able to work something for your desires.
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