According to Wikipedia... "A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant.
The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer".
I like the fact that they draw attention to the portrait being an artistic representation of a person. That's the thing that makes it magical to me. The fact that it is nothing to do with simply taking a photo, It's really all about what parts of a person you choose to see and to represent and how you do it. Every choice you might make can make a huge difference to how the subject comes across. Let me just say that I absolutely love portraiture. Looking at portraits painted or photographed by other people and making them myself. Taking one of someone always feels like a huge honour to me. In my mind I'm always imagining how people will feel when they look back at that picture in thirty or a hundred years. It might be all they have to know the person they are looking at.
You might need a portrait for the back of the book you've just written, you might want one to go alongside an interview or for your website or you might even want one taken of a loved one, just to remember them at that particular moment in their lives. The headshot is one form of portrait. I go in to much more detail about it elsewhere on this site and if you want to have a look at that you can click on the page in the bar at the top or click here. A headshot is really aimed at marketing the subject to its viewer. It's designed to flatter while accurately portraying them and will have minimal other details in the frame. The way I see it a traditional portrait is different because it's more about romanticising the subject. You might wrap them in shadows and make them all mysterious or close in on a part of their face. You could shoot them surrounded by the intricacies of their lives or even with other people who are important to them. I could shoot you playing your instrument, at your favourite vintage typewriter or in mid pirouette. For a portrait we have a lot of options so we will need to talk about what you want and need and we'll work it out together how best to accomplish that. Here's a gallery of various portraits I've shot and they may give you some ideas. It will be best to leave plenty of time to get this right. I'll make it work however best suits you but Ideally I would like at least 3 hours with you and to visit you either at home or work or to shoot in a place that says something to or about you. This portrait of Maxine Peake was taken before a show at the Barbican in 2019