Diane’s Portrait by Lisa Galvin

Diane’s Portrait by Lisa Galvin

Stuart, Florida portrait photographer Diane Dultmeier started creating beautiful portraits for her clients on the Treasure Coast more than 20 years ago. Her favorite and best work has always been photographing real people and real families in a natural and relaxed way.

Diane has learned that, for her, the best reward is the look on her clients' faces when they see their own finished portraits for the first time! Plus when they tell her, years later, how glad they are that they took time to have the portraits made, even though their lives were super busy.

Diane has lived on the Treasure Coast since 1991 and married husband Mike Ballinger in 1998. Daniel, born in 2001, and Andrew, born in 2003, soon joined the family. Becoming a mom greatly added to her ability to photograph people of all kinds. She knows how to relate to kids, to parents and grandparents and to surly teens. (She has her own now!) Her clients continually tell her that everyone felt comfortable and had fun during their portrait session, much to their surprise.

This may be the time to capture the life in your family with Diane's natural style of portrait photography. You will cherish your next portrait as it freezes the fire in her eyes...the giggle in his smile...the love in your family. Diane would love to create images that will be remembered as one of the best investments you have ever made. Diane's special gift is to create relaxed, informal portraits, capturing her subjects' true personalities in very natural poses.





- by Diane Dultmeier

Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.
— Henri Cartier-Bresson

Why do family portraits matter? I think its because life just gets away from you. With photographs, we can stop time a little bit. In the only photo of my family when I was growing up, we are standing in front of the house on maybe a Sunday. (We are all dressed up.) I am sure it was taken by my grandma or maybe by a family friend. We are glad to have that photo, since my dad died when I was three. It is a record of that moment in our lives. Compared to all the photos we have in our cell phones these days, the photography from my childhood is very minimal. Seriously (probably because I was a fourth child) there are no baby portraits of me and this family portrait may be the first record of my existence. And the only family portrait we will ever have. I am REALLY glad we have it.

But the photo does not capture love and relationship and cuddling and closeness. I think subconsciously I have a deep inner longing for those things. I didn't realize it for a long time, but my portraits are full of cuddling, closeness, love and relationship. It just is natural to me to have families cuddle and be together. I cringe when I see a stiffly posed family photo and what a waste of a wonderful opportunity to show the relationships and feelings of the moment. It was only after a number of people pointed out to me that a "Dultmeier" is easy to spot, that I became conscious of my way of posing.


At this point, since I've been a portrait photographer for so long, I have had the experience of providing copies of portraits for too many clients who have lost family members and I am ever grateful that I am the one who captured that moment for them. I KNOW the feeling of losing someone, all too well. I am so glad to be told that my portraits capture all the feelings and moments we wish we could hold on to. 

That is why I do this. To capture those things for the families I meet along the way. As we go through the process of creating portraits, I definitely feel a connection to my clients and their families and I very much enjoy getting to know their stories.

No matter what else happens, today can never be relived. We can never get back to our past and our history, no matter how much we would like to. This moment in time, this feeling when your kids are small or when they are tweens (right before those challenging middle school and teen years) or as they are heading out the door toward college or career. Or when they come home to visit with their own families. All those times are milestones that can slip by without notice. I love to look back on portraits of my boys and our family at different stages (though I have to admit to a tinge of sadness that those eras are gone).

I can't stop time, but I can remember by looking at the faces, clothes, locations, smiles. I have the privilege of watching my clients' children grow up and go through the stages of childhood. I love to visit the homes of my clients and hear how much they still enjoy the portrait I did five, ten, twenty or more years ago. I am a visual historian of families. That is why I do what I do.