152MC – What Is A Portrait

As we have to do portraits for this module, I want to get a true understanding of what a portrait is, before I start shooting one. The main thing about taking a portrait or even any photograph at all is who is my audience, and what is the aim for my pictures. Portraits have many different meanings to it, depending on the story while leads with the photograph. As well as landscape, I had a lecture on what is a landscape which I think is appropriate to look back on my notes from this lecture for preparation for my next shoot for portraits.

The lecture began by discussing what we thought was a portrait,

– Portraiture depicts a person
– Portraiture can capture the ‘essence’ of a person
– Not just a person – For example, animals
– A photograph/image/painting of a singular person or a group of people – Can be staged or natural
– Can represent a person

Where do we find them?
– In portfolios
– Galleries
– Publications such as newspapers and magazines – Books

– Advertising and promotional materials

– Family albums
– IDs – other forms of identifications such as passports, student cards

Who commissions them?
– Galleries – to promote artists
– Publications and advertising – to sell their product
– Publications and advertising – to sell interest
– Companies and brands – as part of their marketing campaign