What’s in a portrait?

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I’m not a photographer of people. I prefer the ease and reliability of landscapes, architecture and, well, objects. If figures do make their way into my frames, it’s in moments of candour or they just happen to waft into the frame.

So this is a rare venture. Mike is sitting on a favourite armchair in my apartment, gazing out at the canal. He looks serious yet relaxed. While he knew I was there with the camera, the only direction from me was not to pose, just to let the photograph happen.

What’s made me interested in portraiture? Well, it’s when you find yourself a willing sitter who is actually pleased that you want to take their photograph. It helps if you have a connection to them and want to capture their likeness, mood and their moments. Sharing the results with them and ensuring you’re both happy completes the circle of portrait creation. Can you really do this with a building?…

15 thoughts on “What’s in a portrait?

  1. Lovely photo Mike. My daughter Cémanthe is an excellent people photographer. She gets such amazing comments from people who loathe having their photo taken. She recently completed a course in documentary photojournalism which she loved. But yes, I agree. I prefer to take photos of objects, buildings, landscapes and the outdoors.

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    • Thank you, Cindy, and lovely to hear from you, I hope all is well with you. Your daughter must have a rare talent with people. I find it very tough to master, although it seems that I’ve found a regular and willing sitter which is fuelling a new interest. I’m not quite sure how photographers feel quite the same with strangers who walk into their studio expecting great things…

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  2. Lovely portrait with a strong impression of quiet confidence …. I look forward to seeing more portraiture!
    I tend to avoid people at all costs (other than one or two awkward attempts!) and hate having my own photo taken so Laura’s comment was interesting :)

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    • Thank you very much, Noeline. It’s just a moment here at home. This sitter may well crop up again :) I’m still unconvinced about taking portraits of people I’m not connected to. It’s good to be scared!

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