Portrait photography is one of the favourite subjects of photographers as well as of a common man. When someone buys a new camera or a new phone the first priority is to click the pictures of one’s family members. There is desire to remember and re-live the by-gone moments. These photographs are the eyewitness to happy moments, big or small, in one’s life, and that is why they are so close to everyone’s hearts. Not everyone has an in-depth knowledge of portrait photography. But when you click, the intension behind clicking a picture is quite specific. Yet, not every picture turns out be the way it was desired. Not only is a common man but also a professional photographer, who has knowledge of other aspects of photography, is not able to click a perfect portrait photo every time. In spite of having a technical background of photography and after putting maximum efforts, one might fail and remember these beautiful lines in Hindi by famous lyricist Majruh Sultanpuri: ‘तसवीर बनाता हूँ, तसवीर नहीं बनती… तसवीर नहीं बनती ।एक ख्वाब सा देखा हैं, ताबीर नहीं बनती… तसवीर नहीं बनती।
When I was in 8th standard, our drawing teacher told us one real life story. A very famous portrait painter, who was known for depicting the personality and different moods, was in search of a model whose face is be very innocent and expressive. He was searching for such a person every over. And when he was moving out of his village he saw few kids wandering behind a group of cows. Finally the painter selected a young shepherd with a very innocent face as his model. He painted a very nice portrait, which eventually made him very famous and successful artist. After a few years, the same portrait painter, planned to paint a portrait of an ugly faced model. Keeping this in mind, he thought that some prisoner’s portrait would be appropriate for this purpose. So he went to a prison, shortlisted one of the prisoners, made his painting and while he was working, he realised that he is the same innocent kid, whose portrait he had made twenty years ago. He was astonished to see the change in the personality of the same person.
Ever wondered what is a portrait? It is an artistic depiction of personality and not just a casual photo; it is also a well-designed and thoughtfully clicked still picture in which, the face and the facial expressions of the person are of immense importance. It is essential to know this importance in any form of art, be it photography, or painting or sculpting. It is but natural that, from a kid to an adult everyone falls in love with their own image. It is a natural desire that, for years together, everyone wants their own image to be appreciated by others. So it is very important for any person to know about the available aids of photography to get expertise in its usage, and to gain detailed knowledge about its implementation. The important part of portrait photography is the light arrangement. By using various types of light, and its arrangements one can pin point different dimensions of the personality. It is a skill of a photographer to put the light on the hidden personality of a person. While doing this, it is necessary to observe the lifestyle of the person and how s/he expresses her/his feelings, the style of working, and the truth in the expression should be minutely recorded in different moods. While doing this, the attire of a person has to get along well with surroundings in which he is working, as well as the dressing has to match his personality and his occupation.
There are three important aspects of portrait photography; the view in the frame, the full face and 3/4th view. In indoor portraits, it is important to catch the hidden expressions of a person. While capturing environmental portraits one should not forget to show the skill of the person along with his expertise, his present status and the surroundings. If imagination is clubbed with the technical knowhow, the ultimate result will give work satisfaction and the peace of mind.
Generally, photography and portrait painting, give a two dimensional artistic view unlike a sculpture, which is a three dimensional art form, where the viewer can always watch the sculpture from all the available angles. This is possible neither in photography, nor in portrait painting. A skilled photographer, by using artistic light arrangement, gives pseudo-third-dimension to any photograph. Such pictures are always appreciated well for their feeling of liveliness.
According to world famous Greek philosopher Aristotle, "The aim of Art is to present not the outward appearance of things, but their inner significance; for this, not the external manner and detail, constitutes true reality. Artists may strive for photographic realism or an impressionistic similarity in depicting their subject, but this differs from a caricature which attempts to reveal character through exaggeration of physical features." And Edward Burne-Jone said "The only expression allowable in great portraiture is the expression of character and moral quality, not anything temporary, fleeting, or accidental."
If you study these statements carefully, then the motto and gist of portrait photography becomes evident. Every photographer should realise this and click beautiful pictures of his loved ones, keeping in mind the lines Hindi song by famous lyricist Majruh Sultanpuri, तसवीर तेरी दिल में, जिस दिन से उतारी हैं फिरू तुझे संग ले के, नये नये रंग ले के, सपनोंकी महफ़िल में। http://subhashjirange.blogspot.comhttp://subhashs1711.blogspot.com/