Portrait Photography

Artists like Cindy Sherman, Annie Lebowitz, Imogene Cunningham, Margaret Bourke-White, Diane Arbus, Harry Callahan, Richard Avedon and more have been inspiring people for years with their portraits of people. Everyday people, the artist in costume, famous people and models have all posed as subject and muse for these talented photographers. Use this list as a starting point and complete the following research. Try using flickr too, since a lot of people on there are doing some fantastic portrait work! All of the above images are from there!

Research photographic portraits and add your findings here.
  1. Save 3 examples of outstanding photographic portraits and tell why you think they are good (use your art vocabulary, elements and principles to discuss),
  2. Use Adobe Photoshop to combine your 3 images into one banner bar so you only have to upload one image instead of 3.
  3. Explain what type of lighting (artificial: dramatic, flash, studio fill or natural: available, outside) and
  4. Explain what type of compositional technique (leading lines, rule of thirds, framing, fill the frame, level horizon, focal point and point of view) the artist used to create their portraits.
  5. Make sure you put your name in ( ) by your post.
  6. Make sure that you put the actual image into your post by using the file/image icon and inserting the actual image not a link.

(Nicole Wiesendanger)
(Going from left to right)
Picture 1: Photo by Lenna Lenkes, Artificial dramatic lighting, unique rule of thirds with focal point on the two people. I like this photo because the connection between the two people and the whitest white is on the lady's stomach, almost as if it were to show the baby. I also really like the emphasis on the skin, its the lightest color in the photo and it draws you in.
Picture 2: Photo by Rocker-Sanjong, dramatic lighting , very unique focal point on the smoke, makes the man mysterious because of his almost closed eyes and smoke, shoulders create a level of horizon. I like this photo because of the varied tones. I like that the white is in the front and the black is in the back. It shows a definite foreground, middle ground and background. I like the movement of the smoke as well because its so in focus and it shows very organic shape.
Picture 3: Photo by Christina N. Dickinson, natural light from a window (available), unique diagonal rule of thirds as well as filling the frame. I like the color in this photo. Its very warm and inviting. I also like the rhythm of the dress ruffles because it catches the light very well.

Portrait_Banner_Copy.jpg(Austin Aumend)
By: George Holz By: Vanessa Ng By: Allen Venables
I believe that these images are outstanding due to a variety of reasons. First of all the first 2 images help capture and represent the feelings and personality of the subject. Second the color and lighting help bring out the emphasis and vibrancy of each image. In all three there is a sense of movement and line and emphasis to certain things. Finally they just look really good.
In the second two photos the lighting seems to be a flash type, perhaps a studio fill. The first two pictures are taken in black and white. In the first photo it is natural outside light. Some of the composition techniques used in these pictures are; Leading Lines, Framing, rule of thirds and fill the frame. Some of the elements and principles that were used are; Emphasis, Line, Shape, Form, Texture, Movement, and Unity.


These three photographic portraits are very strong and say a lot. The first one uses natural lighting but the subject of the photograph is clear. The compositional technique uses the rule of thirds my favorite part of this photo is that it shows the character and has a feel that give the viewer a warm feeling. The second photo is one of the most famous portraits from the national geographic magazine. This photo was taken in natural lighting and I feel has a feeling of worry and fear. The photographer obviously didn't have trouble capturing the personality of this individual. LOVE IT. The last photo is a black and white portrait with dramatic artificial lighting. The photograph uses angles and a different view point to make the picture their own. Overall these photos are very unique and show the characters point of view.

portrait_wiki_banner2.jpg(Dayna Costello)
Picture #1: Taken by Milly Lilly, this photo used natural lighting. The photo did a good job of using asymmetrical balance to put her a little off center in the photo, that way the background was captured as well. Also the emphasis on the close of up her face truly captures her emotion of happiness. The composition of this whole photo is well put together and it is a good photo.
Picture #2: Taken by Adam Foster, This photo is using artificial lighting to give an extremely dramatic effect. They put great emphasis on his eyes since they are a piercing blue. The difference between his skin and his hair created good contrast for a nice black and white photo. They left no other space but for his face which made it possible to show the great emotion in his face. The photo was well put together and edited nicely.
Picture #3: Taken Brea Marie, the photo used natural lighting though the window. The leading lines of the blinds and the shadow lines of the blinds create good unity throughout the photograph. She is centered perfectly in the photo to bring all the attention straight at her right away. The emotion that she is depicting of sadness is showed perfectly by the dim lighting that the sun is allowed in. The photo is a good example of natural lighting and its effect in expressing a certain emotion.


Riley Kirchoff ^
Photo 1: Taken by Brandon Mulnix on Flickr. This portrait is an excellent example of rule of thirds. It also shows leading lines with the arms that make your eye flow through the photo. Since it is a plain background, it also puts a lot of focus and emphasis on the baby and arms. There seems to be a lot of symbolism in this picture as well.
Photo 2: From Beckerpeck on Flickr, this photo shows a lot of contrast. The strong contrast between the boy's skin and the background puts emphasis on the boy. There is a good display of rule of thirds in this photo, horizontally though. His eyes are in a big focus area, making this photo a very strong portrait. It also has a good composition because it is off center.
Photo 3: Taken by Brandon Mulnix on Flickr. This is a very cute portrait with a lot of color and unity. The green grass and green stem look good in this photo. The rule of thirds is displayed very well in this photo. There is also a good depth of field because it is blurry in the background and the foreground and main subject is in focus.


( Kate Hartzler ) left - right
1. Photo by Harry How. This photo of figure skater Sasha Cohen shows movement and repetition with the snow, contrast between the red and blue, filled the frame, made the focal point her face and has a straight-on point of view. I would imagine this was taken with studio lighting.
2. Photo by Chris Keeney. This photo, taken in natural outside lighting, is very unique. I like how the little girl's eyes are closed and hoe her dress matches the duck. The focal point becomes her chin (where it meets the duck) and we have a distanced point of view. It almost seems like a private moment. There is use of the depth of field, rule of thirds, level horizon, leading lines in her hands, hair and the body line of the duck. The colors mesh well because they are all very muted and somewhat natural.
3. Photo by Anna Sawin. This photo, taken in natural outdoor lighting, is extremely vibrant and I love how it captures a rare moment in time because little kids are always moving and reacting to their surroundings. Sawin uses fill the frame, contrast with complementary colors and rule of thirds.

(Nathan Knutson)
These photos were taken by (from right to left): Celebrate Life Photography, PhotoUmbra Studios, and Creative Portrait. These are all senior photographs that i found that i thought were really strong and beautiful.


Picture 1: This is is done by

Sally Farndon

a good photo that shows colors and what a great time and place this picture was taken at and when.
Picture 2: This is by

Josh Andrews

think this is a picture that shows really good timing. Like a photo like this is hard to take, you have to take it at the right time.
Picture 3: This is done by

Sally Farndon

sepia coloring, I think brings out the mood of the photo. For this one, mostly it shows that it was a kind of sunsety and cool evening by the ocean and dock.