Photo Assignment #2: The Intimate Portrait

8 10 2009

ASSIGNMENT: Photographing other people is one of the most basic elements of photography. There is a long history of portraiture dating all the way back to the formal studio portraits and romantic images of Julia Margaret Cameron from photography’s infancy to Steichen and Steiglitz’ work through to the myriad of photographers of the modern era whose work includes portraiture. These include Paul Stand, Sally Mann, Harry Callahan, Shelby Lee Adams. Despite their different backgrounds all these photographers go past the grab shot and make images that reveal something intimate about their subjects

Portraits are successful when the photographer and, by extension the viewer, connect with the subject. This is often achieved through eye contact between the subject and the lens but intimacy can also be conveyed through the sitter’s body language. When the subject is in a place where they aren’t at ease this will often times show through their body’s gesture and they will look posed or “stiff.” Make sure you spend some time with your subjects and photograph them in an environment where they feel comfortable.

PARAMETERS: Your images are to be sharply focused. If you are hand holding your camera that means using a shutter speed of ’60 second or faster (‘125, ‘250, etc.) To start with focus on the subject’s eyes

RESULTS: You should photograph at least two different people in two different environments and try to fill the frame with important information (their face. or body)

GOALS: Upon completing this assignment you should be able to engage a person and photograph them in a way that reveals something about them to the viewer.

SUGGESTIONS: Go to a local bookstore’s photography section or a library and look at portrait photography to get and idea of how experienced photographers approach portraiture. Also, this type of work is a staple of newspaper photography so look at the local paper for examples as well.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: You will hand in ONE folder with the heading “yourlastname_portrait.” Within the folder you will submit all the image you shot for the assignment. The image you show in class will be titled yourlastname_portrait01.jpg, yourlastname_portrait02.jpg, and so on.

Two to Three images will be due in the drop box for class critique at the beginning of class 9 (Sections 6 &7 : November 5th; Section 2: November 9th).

If the assignment is not in the drop box by the start of class, the assignment will be considered a day late. Failure to follow the directions will result in a lower grade. All images must be shot this semester.




4 responses

14 10 2009
tory lewin

Can i do ghosting for it?

16 10 2009


22 10 2009
Erin Cochrane

Is it restricted to only one person in the frame?
Or can we have two?

26 10 2009
Karleigh Sergio

Im really excited for this assignment 😀

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