you can stop doing portraits as soon as you as good as yosuf karsh.until then ,keep working at it!, iknow, i will.
Couples in very intimate settings, like Nan Goldin's stuff
I'm challenged by photographing strangers. It's really hard for me to walk up to someone and ask to take their picture. I don't even know what I'm afraid of, as I'm not normally a very shy person.
That's a boundary I'm looking to push through.
To get really out of my comfort zone, perhaps go to Sturgis for one of the biker meetings there, and do a documentary. On film. That would be challenging to me. The hardest thing I know is to capture fleeting moments. Landscape, aerial, architecture, etc takes mostly time, dedication, and enough money to pull off. A fleeting moment never returns, so it becomes an exercise of reacting quickly and making very fast decisions. That, to me, is a lot more difficult, and to do that with a stranger even more so.
What I would you like to try and what I am trying almost always lately: complex geometry in harmony together with people in the frame.
Safe zone is to make photo of one object, one person, one flower, one grave stone... but to combine many objects in harmony and in geometry - this is hard for me, many times I end up with 36 bad frames on film.
eventually it lead to me making portraits for a newspaper, photographing everyone from supreme court chief justices
to chief sachems ...
my take on karsh might be a little different than others but ...
he transformed portrait photography from lots of light
to theatrical lighting ( rembrandt style lighting ) ..
he in some ways merged dutch painting and modern photography
because technically it wasn't possible before he was around.
films ( and plates ) were slow there had to be lots of light &c ...
his portraits really show more of personality/character of his subjects
than a deadpan-portrait, or a bathtub filled with milk.
but all that said, i can see why someone would look at them and not be impressed ...
( i only know the effort of what goes into portraits like that because i apprenticed with someone who did similar work
and for her it was nearly effortless work, probably like karsh )