Getting Started


✦ The Basics
The majority of our portraits are not created in a studio but in places that are of special beauty or special significance to our clients. What places sound the most exciting and wonderful to you? Your home, your garden, your vacation home, your favorite vacation destination? Anywhere in the world or any place your imagination carries you is a possibility.

We invite you to learn more about how a Sterling portrait can be a priceless heirloom and a striking part of your family narrative. It is an investment that will pay dividends beyond your lifetime and will inform future generations of the heritage on which they stand.

Portrait commissions, depending on your specific needs and desired service level, start at $6,500, $25,000 or $40,000. We will be happy to discuss what your vision is and how we can help make that a reality.

The First Step – Let’s Talk
In a simple phone conversation, we answer your questions about the Sterling Experience and ask about your hopes and dreams and your vision for your portraits. You learn about us – we learn about you.
Let’s Get Started ►

✦ Portrait Consultation
You will be invited to our gallery where we can get to know each other. This will give you the opportunity to express your personality, preferences, concerns and those special qualities that make you and your loved ones unique.
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The intimate setting is cozy and informal and features bubbling fountains and serene music. It is the perfect atmosphere for envisioning what could be and how to make that dream a reality. There is time to browse at your own pace and consider the possibilities for your portraits. Our collaborative efforts at this essential get-together will help us develop an artistic direction based on what kind of portraits you prefer, what locations or settings might help tell your story, and how and where your portraits will be displayed when they are finished. We discuss clothing, locations, timing, unique challenges and any concerns you might have related to the portraits or the experience.

✦ Location Preview and Home Visit
After the consultation, Sterling, the artist, will visit your chosen session location and make initial decisions as to where and how the portraits will be created.
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He will consider lighting, unique features, textures, backgrounds, architecture and foliage, all in relation to the season. One of his great joys is discovering hidden spots, overlooked or considered not workable, that he turns into gems with his artist’s eye.

Sterling will also review and approve the clothing that you have selected for the session and, with you, tour your home discussing and advising on potential portrait display areas.

✦ Portrait Session
Regardless of where it takes place, your portrait session will be a relaxing and enjoyable time, well-paced and not taxing. Sterling’s team is practiced at putting people at ease, making sure children and parents are comfortable and in good spirits, and that pets have as much fun as their families do.

If having portraits made is fun for families, it is even more so for couples. Imagine you and your life-partner, away from all your responsibilities, free to be yourselves. Just the two you, enjoying calm, quiet and each other. More than just a time for the creation of portraits, it becomes a time to experience each other, to reconnect, to remember.

✦ Studio Portraits
If a studio environment is your preferred look, we will bring a studio to you. Sterling applies the same painstaking attention to details to studio portraits as he does to environmental portraits. This ensures you have the prized, traditional art you are seeking.

✦ Portrait and Frame Selection
The selection appointment is a magical time for you and your spouse. It is when you will experience the thrill of seeing and selecting from a collection of beautiful first-edition originals.
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In our gallery, your images are presented first as a slide show set to music and then individually for selection. The images are projected at the specific sizes that are being considered so it is clear what the portraits will look like when they are appropriately sized. You will also see the images to scale in the settings where they will appear in your homes so that together we can determine what looks best in each space.

With Sterling’s assistance and guidance you will select portraits that will stand the test of time and frames that will complete your precious art. We will discuss enhancements and modifications that will perfect your already beautiful portraits and in the end create pieces of portrait art that will beautify your homes and enrich your lives for decades.

✦ Unveiling and Installation
The culmination of the portrait experience is when Sterling personally delivers the framed, signed portraits, wrapped in velvet, to your home.
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The portraits are set on easels, still covered, wine is presented for toasting, and then Sterling unveils the spot-lit portraits with white gloves.  The coffee table books are presented, page by page, while everyone has a chance to savor the moments and the memories.  This time is completed as your finished framed portraits are installed and secured with the knowledge that your home, and your lives, will be forever transformed.


Every portrait is a distinct expression, and each couple’s and each family’s situation is unique to them. For that reason we take the time to understand and appreciate the stories and needs of our clients. We invest in you, just as you invest in us.
It all starts with a conversation. We look forward to having one with you.
301.871.5966 inside USA, 00+1+301.871.5966 outside USA
gallery (by appointment)
1804 Crystal Lane, Silver Spring, Maryland 20906-2101, USA

Portraits are created at locations of your choosing anywhere in the world.  Consultations and selection appointments are usually conducted at Sterling’s gallery in Maryland.  With certain service levels Sterling may be able to come to you for your consultation and selection.

© Sterling Portraits, LLC | 301.871.5966 |