Neal Slaten first meets with the client in the client’s location or some other mutually agreeable location. This meeting lasts about three hours, if the portrait is to feature only one client. Additional time is needed for additional subjects. At this meeting, the artist discusses portrait size, clothing, pose and the client’s expectations about the portrait. During this first meeting, photographs are also taken by the artist. When a sitting is not convenient, it is necessary for the client to provide photographs to the artist. From these photographs decisions are made about the preferred pose and expression and other characteristics to be included or highlighted including the right background for the portrait. The client then selects a photograph or photographs as the basis for the portrait.
When client and artist agree with all aspects of the portrait, Slaten completes the portrait in his studio in two or three months. When the portrait is very near completion a color digital image is sent to the client. There is further discussion about corrections that might need to be made. Ideas for framing might also be discussed. The finished portrait is usually shipped to the client, although the artist may deliver it personally when distance is not prohibitive.