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Michael Orhelein "The Portrait Artist"

Michael Orhelein - The Portrait Artist - Grand Cayman, Cayman IslandsMichael's study of portraiture began at the age of ten. When introduced to the medium of photography and the art of print making, Michael knew that his life's work would be portraiture. With a gifted Kodak Brownie in hand Michael began to emulate the work of the Master Portraitist of that time. He also desired to become a firefighter like his Father, but was encouraged by both parents to pursue photography instead.

Michael studied his craft for many years searching out mentors whose work defined quality classic portraiture. In his mid twenties he was accepted into the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara California.

Named Overseas Portrait Photographer of the Year by The British Professional Photographers Association, Michael's work has also been honored by the Professional Photographers of America and is regarded as a Master of Photography by his peers. He has garnered such awards as Portrait of the Year, Best Portrait of a Dog, and Five times the Kodak Gallery Award, and the Fuji Masterpiece Award. There are no awards however more meaningful than the thank you notes from the subjects of his art:

"Michael, has captured a special moment in the life of our family, one that we will treasure for a lifetime"
Greg and Clare Shumaker

"Beautiful, Michael, absolutely beautiful."
Joan Lowenstein

"We love our portraits, Michael, You truly have a gift"
Keri Travalini

"Your artwork is the pride of our home. You given us a gift we will always treasure."
Mimi Drew

"Michael, I cannot express in words alone how beautiful the portraits are and how deeply they touch my heart" Thank you for making us a part of your art."
Alajandra Carmarco

"Beautiful, Michael, we love our portraits"
Tisha Buchanan

PROCEDURE, Step-by-Step

The portrait process begins with an interview where we will determine the size and "spirit" of the portrait, including the questions of location, clothing and mood of the portrait.

The planning session can be done at your home if you would like. This is advantageous as we may explore ideas in your immediate suroundings.


The "palette" from which we craft your portrait is created during an extensive photographic session at a time and place determined at the planning session.


Now follows a sustained period of studio work in which the details of the captured palette are developed, one by one, and in concert with skills developed over 30 years. The artist applies the blending, toning, retouching, bonding and lacquering to bring the painting to completion. This process can take 6 to 8 weeks.

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