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df cardwell
05-20-2008, 11:02 AM
What makes it a Portrait ? :munch:

Ian Grant
05-20-2008, 11:06 AM
It's a planned photograph of a person or group of people. Of course in the colonies portraits of pets are popular too :D

Just adding of course it needn't be a photograph, it could be a painting drawing etc.


05-20-2008, 11:08 AM
The depiction of a breathing creature, be it a human or an animal that captures the personality and other characteristics that describe that person such as the living environment and occupation. The more depth and sensitivity it has, the better portrait it is. A portrait usually focuses on the person or persons and personality, instead of the environment, scene or outer details and that makes it different from street photography, fashion or documentary.

05-20-2008, 11:14 AM

Please, not another "define this fuzzy concept" thread.

05-20-2008, 11:43 AM
What makes it a Portrait ? :munch:

How about something (anything) 'portrayed' in a vertical frame as opposed to horizontal (landscape)? I like to keep it simple.

05-20-2008, 11:52 AM
Never thought this would happen. Well done Sean!

... and you really started this one off with a doozy Donald! :D

Chris Breitenstein
05-20-2008, 02:25 PM
A picture of something.

05-20-2008, 02:47 PM
I have an extended project of photographing my boys in the environment (landscape). I consider them portraits, though they are as much about the landscape as they are about my boys.






PS...well, at least one of them is in portrait orientation...:p

05-20-2008, 02:52 PM
The eyes have it...

05-20-2008, 02:58 PM
Its when the photographer sublimates their ego for the sake of the subject.

jd callow
05-20-2008, 03:00 PM
The eyes have it...

or the lips


05-20-2008, 05:27 PM
I think a portrait must be consensual, that is, the subject knows they are being photographed and is participating in the process (even momentarily). A non-consensual photo of a person, to me, is a snapshot or a street photograph.

df cardwell
05-20-2008, 05:28 PM
Its when the photographer sublimates their ego for the sake of the subject.


df cardwell
05-20-2008, 05:29 PM
I think a portrait must be consensual


COOL picture !

05-20-2008, 06:01 PM
I'll take what's behind door two!

df cardwell
05-20-2008, 06:10 PM

05-20-2008, 06:14 PM
amazing eyes...

Hats off! Great work!

05-20-2008, 08:10 PM
The best portraits are those where the neither the photographer. nor the sitter sublimate their ego, but find some common ground, and get to know each other. YMMV, of course, but that's my experience... I need to allow them a moment, and then they may offer me the gift of their expression, and I hope to find it precisely when it's offered...

Lori V
05-20-2008, 08:45 PM
I think a good portrait tells the story of a person...reveals something... even if they are not in the frame...

Tony Egan
05-20-2008, 09:59 PM
There is an annual portrait competition in Sydney called Head-On. This year one of the accepted portraits was of a stark, bare, empty room in a hospice (apart from the incongruous full length wallpaper on one wall of a chocolate box forest scene) where the photographer's grandfather had died. There was an interesting discussion about what makes a portrait during a floor talk I attended a few weeks ago. Sorry I don't have the answer! The organisers also said they had an interesting email exchange with one phtographer who insisted his insect "portraits" be considered.
I must admit as I went around the walls the first time it didn't register that there was no person in the photo. The power of caption and context.