... in the Victorian era (1837-1901), a small, tightly controlled mouth was considered beautiful. They took their cues from much of Europe's fine-art portraiture. Some say photographers even suggested those posing say "prunes" to heighten the effect. Smiling was something captured on children, peasants and drunkards, hardly something you'd want for your family legacy.Advances in dental care and ubiquitous technology: why people started smiling for the camera, and why we say cheese, with a whistling bird, some whiskey, and a little flash game thrown in for good measure. [more inside]
Then, there was the matter of oral hygiene.
Slavik's Street Style - over a 2-year period, Ukrainian photographer Yurko Dyachyshyn took dozens of portraits chronicling the remarkable daily stylings of a 55-year-old homeless man living in the city of Lviv.
In Yousuf Karsh's 93 years, he had amassed more than 15,000 sittings to his name, capturing portraits of famous and worldly people. He rose to international prominence due to his portrait of Winston Churchill in 1941. At first, it was an honor for the amateur Karsh to walk up to or invite people to photograph them. After that, it became a privilege for future subjects to be accepted into Karsh's gallery. Karsh's website is a source for great insight into the photographer's life, in his own words and through his works. You can read more in this 1988 interview Karsh gave to the Paris Voice, see a few more portraits from the Smithsonian Magazine, and view an interview in three parts. [more inside]
South African artist and activist Gabrielle Le Roux is in San Francisco for the first time to show the "Proudly African & Transgender" portrait and story series she co-created with trans* activists from Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya in 2008, together with a selection of portraits from the "Proudly Trans* in Turkey" collaboration with eighteen trans* activists from across Turkey. The portraits and stories will show at the SF LGBT Center at the invitation of the Queer Cultural Center and SFSU Sociology Dept. Galería de La Raza will be showing the 18 part video installation of the Proudly Trans* in Turkey exhibition, through which trans* activists from across Turkey explore the issues they want to discuss on film. [more inside]
The Taser Photoshoot: Portraits of People's Faces When Hit With A Stun Gun by Patrick Hall [Possibly NSFW]
The National Portrait Gallery's exhibit American Cool is both an exhibition of portraits of 100 iconically cool Americans (pdf) and a meditation on what it means to be cool and how the concept has changed over time. Among those who made the cut are Bessie Smith, Joan Didion, and Benicio Del Toro. [more inside]
If you visit the Humans of New York website or on the Facebook page now and in the next few months, you'll find portraits and stories from beyond New York. Brandon Stanton and HONY will be going on a "world tour," to be part of the UN's Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group effort to raise awareness for the eight international Millennium Development Goals with a target date of 2015 . Currently, HONY is "suddenly a war report form Iraq". [more inside]
7 Days of Garbage is a photo portrait series by Gregg Segal. His subjects are surrounded by the garbage they accumulate in a week. (More of his work: Gregg Segal. )
Chinatown Sartorialist. "We saw them at Portsmouth Square and frantically made a beeline for them, both in a brown, earthy palette with matching cheetah sweaters and furry hats."
Twenty years after the Rwandan genocide, reconciliation still happens one encounter at a time between perpetrators and survivors.
'Madeline L’Engle said, “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” I know that when I’m meeting older people, anyone for that matter, you look in the person’s eyes and their eyes are behind the façade. You feel more connected with somebody’s soul in that sense. So instead of judging a book by its cover, looking at this old person like maybe they’re not capable of this or that, I wanted to show how full and beautiful they are. They’ve already lived what I’m living. They have so much knowledge, and they’re still living.' Jason Bard Yarmosky on the portraits of his grandparents: Elder Kinder (2011), Elder Kinder (2012), Dream of the Soft Look (2013) [via Everlasting Blort] [more inside]
Today, March 8, is International Women's Day, a day to celebrate the social, political and economic achievements of women, and focus attention on areas still needing action. In the run-up to the event, Reuters photographers in countries around the globe took a series of portraits of women and their daughters. They asked each mother what her profession was, at what age she had finished education, and what she wanted her daughter to become when she grew up. They also asked each daughter at what age she would finish education and what she wanted to do in the future. (SLAtlantic)
The women of Gugulethu and Khayelitsha township. The third installment of photographer Julia Gunther’s ongoing project ‘Proud Women of Africa,’ which is in many ways is an outsider's continuation of visual activist Zanele Muholi's 'Faces and Phases' series, “marking, mapping, and preserving an often invisible community for posterity.” In an interview with the New Statesman, Muholi grappled with the ethical implications of documentary photography: “It’s been done for many years. Africa has mostly been projected and documented by the outside world.” (previously)
This body of work consists of three simple materials that, when combined, produce the portraits: a wooden panel painted a solid white, thousands of small galvanized nails, and a single, unbroken, common sewing thread.
ShotKit, A Peek Inside the Camera Bags of Professional Photographers (Browse by subject, brand, or submit your own.)
Jeremy Cowart photographed John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard/Smallville/Haves and Have Nots star), but didn't get exactly the experience he expected.
"X-ray images usually show the finite nature of our bodies composed only of matter. But these couples' portraits reveal a pulse that isn’t normally seen." —Ayako Kanda and Mayuka Hayashi.
In 2009, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, filmmaker Gilles Porte had children between the ages of 3 and 6, who have yet learn to read or write, and from around the world, draw themselves, without adult intervention, on a pane of glass. The result of which is this gallery of 80 self-portraits, that are in turn sweet, comical, and moving. At the end of each movie, the character drawn is animated and comes to life. (To play the movies, click on “voir” below each thumbnail image on the TV5 site.) [more inside]
Hannah Price’s series, City of Brotherly Love, features portraits of men in Philadelphia captured just moments after they’d harassed her on the street. [more inside]
Photographer Gideon Mendel's stunning portraits of flood victims in the UK, India, Haiti, Pakistan, Australia, and Thailand. (via)
On May 24th, 1813, Jane Austen visited a blockbuster art exhibition--the first major retrospective of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the premier English portraitist of the 18th century. Debuting 200 years to the day later, What Jane Saw is a room-by-room virtual recreation of the exhibition, based on the original catalog of the paintings and contemporary depictions of the building where it was held.
Polaroid Portrait Mosaics by Italian photographer Maurizio Galimberti offer intimate and compelling views of his subjects. How it's done: a portrait of Chuck Close, another portrait artist.
"Outcasts are my kind, they try harder. From strip joints to Burlesque theaters, I went on a quest and met the 'Legends', these dominating characters of the quintessential American art of strip tease. Hours of confidence on tapes, intimate photo sessions, they peel off and reveal the hidden layers of their life with throaty emotion. Their memories reflecting the memories of the land. Vietnam vets and bikers are their loyal patrons..." The Living Art Of Risqué, a photo essay from Marie Baronnet, features portraits of former strippers aged 60 to 95, accompanied by short bio-vignettes in their own words. [NSFW; nudity] [more inside]
More often than not, some of the best observers of places are those not originally from there. Leon Borensztein was born in Poland, settled in Israel and emigrated only later in life to the U.S. in 1977. But unlike de Tocqueville and other aristocratic travelers of old, he had to make ends meet and stumbled into taking commercial pictures of average, normal Americans as a fly-by-night job to pay the bills. Borensztein’s portraits—comprised in his new book, American Portraits, 1979–1989, published this month by Nazraeli Press—took place on the sidelines of commercial gigs. His tools and techniques were dictated by his means: a generic backdrop, a camera, simple and spare. -- TIME Lightbox
A Portrait A Day Keeps Myself Sane. Line portraits from David Johnson. E.g., Edward Bulwer-Lytton; Virginia Woolf; Samuel Beckett; Elton John & Leon Russell.
I have no idea how these people got wedged into their scanners, or why. Oh wait, I do. Artist Enrico Nagel, in his series "Behind the Glass", makes portraits that way.
In my unending search for just the right vintage images for our articles, I have looked through thousands of photographs of men from the last century or so. One of the things that I have found most fascinating about many of these images, is the ease, familiarity, and intimacy, which men used to exhibit in photographs with their friends and compadres. Male Affection: A Photographic History Tour
Picture a tiny Italian woman gesturing continuously as she uncorks a full brain dump (from a very, very creative mind) on all of the little things that many people never think of when photographing others.
"... the first time I had to photograph someone that wasn’t myself, I spent the night before puking, and it was half a disaster. Ten years later, these are the things I wish someone had told me back then."Sara Lando's On Photographing People: Pt. 1, the first in her three-part series on photographing people on Strobist. [more inside]
Half-Drag is photographer Leland Bobbé's series capturing both the 'male and the alter-ego female side' of a person's face in a single image.
'Everyone Has a Name' Project Everyone has a name. And everyone has a story. This photo project is dedicated to promoting dignity and to enlightening society's view of the homeless. A project by Charlie O'Hay. [more inside]
The Screamotron3000 is a converted boombox that takes a picture when people scream. Its creator, Billy Hunt, hopes to use it to "offer a window through the inherently artificial process of portraiture into real human emotion."
Iconic Portraits Formed by Clusters of Tiny People. Starting his creative career as a street artist, Craig Alan developed his portraiture skills while earning a living to further fund his artistic pursuits. Since that point, the artist has been honing in on his craft and creating something more than your average portrait. He represents people as an amalgam of other people. The artist's portfolio boasts a series of inventive portraits of iconic figures whose visage appears to be composed of tiny pixels. Upon closer inspection, the spectator can see that the pixels are, in fact, people. [more inside]
Photographer Cara Phillips uses ultraviolet light to bring out the beautiful imperfections in people's skin. [via]
The Disappearing Double Chin Trick for Portrait Photography: "The key to looking good in photos? It's all about your jaw, as photographer Peter Hurley explains in this video." (YouTube, ~15 min.) Hurley's quick tips for better portraits in the NYT; Hurley's helpful headshot tips for actors. (~8 min.) Want more? FStoppers behind-the-scenes video (10 min.); an excerpt (from his DVD) of one headshot session (20 min.); a 2-hour seminar on "The Basic Headshot". An SLR Lounge interview with Hurley. (~40 min.) (main link via laughingsquid + lifehacker)
One year ago today, a tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri. Photographer Robert X. Fogarty's "Dear World" project commemorates the survivors of that day with two galleries of portraits. Each survivor has a short message written on his or her skin: "I survived Joplin's EF-5." "Together these work miracles." "Survived."
"What we're going to do is have a map of the city of New York, where you can click on any neighborhood and scroll through the faces of the people that live there."Photographer Brandon Stanton has now compiled more than 3700 street portraits and 50 stories for his project Humans of New York. Photos are also posted with captions to a public Facebook group. (Album.) The Map currently shows 1500+ portraits, arranged by the location in which they were taken. Previously on MeFi [more inside]
Kevin J. Weir is an artist, making ads (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and more interestingly, not ads. In the latter category, he has made 3 stand-alone sites: the Flux Machine, a tumblr of public domain images turned into animated GIFs, ranging from amusing to surreal (with an extra dash of Lovecraft), which Cartoon Brew likened to Terry Gilliam and Stan VanDerBeek; Nyan Waits, another spin-off of the Nyan Cat meme/theme, now with more Tom Waits; and Loud Portraits, an interactive portrait gallery. [more inside]
"I draw with a Biro pen, i paint with anything. I often run into the sea." Mark Powell draws old people on old envelopes with a plain old ballpoint pen. [more inside]
"The Soldier Portraits Project...consists of portrait photographs of soldiers of the United States Army, primarily of the 3rd Infantry Division...[t]he photographs are made using the 150 year old collodion wet plate process - the same process that was used to document much of the period (and many of the soldiers) of the Civil War." [more inside]
Karsten Thormaehlen captured the wisdom and joy of aging by photographing centenarians. [more inside]
Marked. Photographer Claire Felicie photographed the marines of the 13th infantry company of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps, before, during and after their deployment in Uruzgan.
Black And White Portraits of the Homeless "Lee Jeffries' career began as a sports photographer, capturing the beautiful game of football in Manchester. Then a chance meeting with a homeless woman living in the streets of London changed his life forever. He has since dedicated himself to capturing gripping portraits of the disenfranchised. Shooting exclusively in black and white, Lee Jeffries’ 135+ pictures can be viewed in his Flickr Photostream. The majority are closeup portraits with incredible detail. Each photograph exudes so much raw character and depth, you find yourself studying each shot with great intensity."
Belgian photographer Frieke Janssens snapped controversial (and artistic) portraits of children between the ages of four and nine smoking fake cigarettes. The photo shoot in action was recorded and her portfolio can be seen here. (Previously) [more inside]
Britain's finest Baroque portraitist, on a par with Frans Hals, has been all but forgotten, but a new BBC documentary and associated website seek to address that. William Dobson, 1611-46, was painter to Charles I's court during the English Civil War, and the turmoil of the period meant that much of his biography and even the names of the subjects of his portraits were lost. But many of his portraits have survived, and they're astonishing. [more inside]