Portraiture: Loosen up!


I’ve spent a lot of time looking at portraits over the last couple of days for various reasons I shan’t get into in details, but there’s one pet peeve I’m afraid I’m going to have to share with you…

Why are people always so damn serious when they are being taken photos of? Does nobody understand the art of portraiture anymore? 


back.jpgTo me, a portrait doesn’t have to be a flat-on head-and-shoulders photo. Hell, I’ve seen excellent portraits that don’t even have faces in them. The point I’m trying to make is that there are too many people why are just straight-up trying too hard with their portraiture.

It all depends on what you are trying to do with your photos of course, but are you really the dude who wants to get known for taking plain, boring heads-and-shoulders shots? Granted, I do believe that all good photographers should have a go at classic portraiture, but ultimately, what is portraiture all about?

To me, portraiture is about capturing something that is typical about somebody, in such a way that people who know the subject instantly recognise them, and in a way that people who don’t know them get enough data to make up some sort of opinion about them.

This style of portraiture presupposes that you aren’t taking photos in a lame-ass conveyor-belt-style (yes, Venture, I’m looking at you), but actually have the time to get to know your subjects, and it might just work best with people you know quite well to begin with.

But… Isn’t experimentation and an attempt at capturing the unique what photography is all about? So why aren’t people playing around more?


If you’ve got some stunning portraits that break the rules – why not post a link in the comments? I’d love to see some photos that defy the monotony, before I go spare and lose all faith in the photographers of the world…

Do you enjoy a smattering of random photography links? Well, squire, I welcome thee to join me on Twitter -

© Kamps Consulting Ltd. This article is licenced for use on Pixiq only. Please do not reproduce wholly or in part without a license. More info.