Wednesday Round Table: Portraits "A portrait! What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound." ~ Charles Baudelaire
So often we are drawn to capture the people around us in photographs. We want to hold on to a memory, capture an experience, freeze a moment in time. I think the images we create can tell as much about us, the artists, as they do about the person depicted, yet portraits in particular also show a collaboration, the interaction between the model and the artist, and this can change with every experience.
In a professional setting, a portrait can become a family heirloom, a record of a loved one at an important moment and with a specific purpose - a wedding, a graduation, the first months of a child’s life. At its best, a portrait goes beyond recording a likeness and communicates something about a person’s presence, experience, perhaps even their soul. When we are able to see ourselves through the eyes of another person, we see a different view - a possibility or an idea that we may have been unaware of previously. Seeing ourselves as art has the ability to go beyond the ego and transcend the mundane. Portraiture shows the connections we create with the people and the world around us.
At least, that is why I create portraits.
So, tell me about your own experience. When you pick up the camera, the brush, the phone, what do you hope to capture in your subject? Are you concerned with making the subject look “good,” beautiful, natural? Is your approach realistic or idealistic? Are you telling the subject’s story or making up your own?
How does the meaning change when we photograph a good friend?
Or people we don't know but want to remember?
What draws you to the work that you do? What really motivates you to create these records, memories, characters? Please post your thoughts, motivations, inspirations and let's get the conversation going.
* * *
EDIT: Apparently you can add comments but not images, so feel free to send your portraits to me and I will happily add them here.
* * *
"I don't have many deal breakers in dating. Most revolve around bad habits. One that does not is resistance to photographs of that person. Jaime is fairly new into my life and she has not proven to shy away from photos. She never likes the photos, but that does not keep her from letting me photograph her as I see her. I need to photograph her more."