i can't really put my finger on what a portrait is and isn't.
it seems that portraits capture the essence of a person.
it is the result of a dance the taker and subject do together -
(part theatre and part excavation) ...
there is a barrier we put up to keep people and life out,
a portrait sometimes reveals who is behind the barrier,
or who that person wishes was behind the barrier.
a portrait, or any artwork, is whatever the artist, the viewer or the artworld want it to be
A portrait is not necessarily a picture of just the person, environmental portraits and portraits in the third person (evidence of a person without actually being in the picture) add another interesting dimension worth exploring to the genre. Careful with the third person as this can often also be seen as a still life.
Vaughn, very nice! The tall timber country looks magical!
Hi Lori, nice to see you here.
Hey Nicole...thrilled to be here.
and your work continues to inspire me. girl, you're good.
Defining portraiture is interesting - although I also find that as I go on I am less and less drawn to definitions.
Categories from an aesthetic viewpoint (as opposed to technical) do worry me a little - there is often something that doesn't fit. Also, some work straddles, or defies boundaries. It can be like squeezing something into a box that is really too small, rather than placing something in a nice big box, and carefully placing packaging around it.
(I would really like a place to discuss film types, lighting etc. relating to a particular 'genre' - for want of a better word. In some ways I would find categories easier for this).
Following with interest, though..
I don't see why we can't discuss technical issues with regard to portraiture is this area of the forum, and I think it will prove useful as we build an archive of information in this genre. Doesn't mean some things won't apply to other genres of photography, but it focuses the discussion nicely for those, like myself, who may be attempting to improve their portraits. (There's always room for improvement, it seems... )
And framing some of the "how's" of the conversations to the "why's" of the conversation can serve to foster a creative and inspiring atmosphere. After all, sometimes you see the image in your head, and even understand why you want to make it ... but can't quite find the "how to make it... ". This strikes me as the perfect place for both questions.
And yes... definitions can meander with photography...