Ephemeral, always changing, portraits are all about capturing a person or persons in a precise moment of time. Portraits were once only about facial expressions, but creative photographers look for much more than that now such as personality or mood. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but pictures can lie. They can be staged. Masters of portrait photography build their picture down to the tiniest detail to relay that moment of time to viewers. Here are 13 creative portraits and 12 portraiture photographers.
Firestarter by David Roth
Photographer David Roth captured this image. His focus was on the little girl’s face, her expression, and her eyes tell a story. He did not, however, get stuck in the middle of the frame. His subject is not centered. The unfocused background shouts important details. In this case, he labeled the picture Firestarter. She’s just an innocent bystander. Or is she?
Traditional VS Non-traditional
Weddings and engagements are an important time to record the moment. Some photographers like from V.I.P. use more traditional means to capture what the subject wants remembered, the dress, the moment, the play of light. In creative portraits, the photographer can think out of the box. If a couple particularly enjoys a certain setting like the woods, then photographers from Luster Studios record the moment there. Portraits can be as varied as the people in the pictures.
Some portraits are stunning due to the creative photographer changing the the angle of attack and the setting for a shot. This unique portrait of a Mexican wedding by Sol Tamargo clearly considers what the photograph says. The wedding couple has an affinity for doing things differently and a great love for the water. What the photo says is even more important than the picture itself.
Boudoir Photos — Annie Leibowitz
Annie Leibowitz is famous for her creative portraits which show a close collaboration between her subjects and her ability to capture the moment. In this case, Johnny Depp and his wife will forever have this image of intimacy recorded. The visual interest here is less on the background settings than the subjects, however the sparse background speaks volumes in this scene. Leibowitz’s claim to fame comes about by her selecting subjects to photograph who “Open their hearts and souls and lives to you.”
Valley of Regret
When an image so perfectly captures an emotion, this is great creative photography. In this case, Leah Johnston uses her photos as an illustration to her poetic verse. This portrait is titled Valley of Regret. She has assembled a collection of her uniquely stirring photographs and touching poems on Flickr.
Fairy Tales Do Come True
A true versatile master of photography, Annie Leibovitz got her start at Rolling Stone. She has been commissioned by hundreds to tell their tale through a portrait. She snapped this shot for Disney to celebrate their famous fairy tales. The play of light upon the glass slipper and the background setting need no written words to evoke a memory of Cinderella.
Drama has been captured on film for more than a hundred years. There are times when the picture mixes a lighthearted jest with a more serious meaning. Photographer Alicia Nicole gives us humor with the mustache about a sometimes serious subject of a woman surviving in a business world. Commercial Advertising Photographer Simon Green paints a vivid image with his camera of this princess dressed in red but resting as if dead upon the rocks.
Photographers use their creativity to show their subject’s individuality. Julie Pippin snapped this shot of her subject in the ocean. Many women might not choose this, but many would love to display their individuality in this way. Advertising Fashion Photographer Shane was inspired to take this portrait to not only show off the black gloves but to also illustrate her own individuality, talent and artistic ability.
Nina Pak takes fantasy portraits that embrace symbolism yet likes to keep an element of mystery in her work. Instead of depending upon the background, she pulls texture into the picture along with the subject. Since a portrait is about the subject, she zooms in and fills the frame with all the emphasis on her subject.
Lead photographer for Iris, Jane Shauck, is a world-class photojournalist. She takes series of portraits to record more than a moment, but the entire event such as a wedding. In classic style, she focuses in this picture on the subject’s face, her hands, and her expression while the background is unfocused yet important enough to not completely center the subject in the frame. The element of enigma remains while the story, the photograph, tells the event like daguerreotypes of old have since 1839.