... 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]
The Taser Photoshoot: Portraits of People's Faces When Hit With A Stun Gun by Patrick Hall [Possibly NSFW]
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. )
Twenty years after the Rwandan genocide, reconciliation still happens one encounter at a time between perpetrators and survivors.
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)
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.
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)
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
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."
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]
"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]
Drew Gardner is an English photographer with a wide range of interests (Eccentrics, Guinness records) though perhaps his most beguiling collection is of Descendants, portraits of, well, descendents of the rich and powerful in some of their most iconic poses. Bonus video of Helen Pankhurst being set up as her great grandmother Emmeline, with audio of the great suffragette herself
101, images of males from age 0 to 100 by Danish photojournalists Sofia Wraber and Nanna Kreutzmann.
Bar Portraits — Dignified gentlemen sit for their portraits in bars and cafes across Italy. Contrast that with The Waste Land, a series of intimate portraits of young intoxicated people, photographed during or after parties, festivals, and raves. Both are portrait projects of Piero Martinello. [more inside]
"During the 1860s, several photographers based in Moscow and St. Petersburg produced series of cartes-de-visite showing Russian 'types.' These remarkable portraits provide a fascinating record of working-class townspeople, artisans, street vendors and peasants, some staged performing an activity, such as drinking tea or gaming, and some photographed in the performance of their occupation."
Retratos Pintados "Since the late 19th century through the 1990s, hand-painted photographic portraits were a common feature in homes in the rural areas of the northeastern Brazilian states. At a time when black-and-white photographs were not considered dramatic enough, the retratos pintados (“painted portraits”) glamorized and idealized their subjects. Black-and-white family photos were enlarged and painted, conferring status on members of the family and portraying them as icons or saints. Using oil washes and other techniques specific to the region, local artisans embellished clothing with pattern and color, smoothed wrinkles, added jewelry or resurrected deceased relatives, illustrating the fantasies and desires of their customers."
As part of the current retrospective of her work at MoMA, Marina Abramović is performing "The Artist is Present," in which she sits in a chair at a table for the duration of the museum's opening hours and invites visitors to sit across from her for as long as they wish. Watch the performance live. Photographer Marco Anelli has been taking photos of the participants for the museum, noting the duration of their participation: 5 min., 10 min., 391 min. [via kottke] [more inside]
The New Orleans Public Library's Hidden from History exhibit, now online, uses turn-of-the-century mugshots from the NOPD to consider issues of public identity, private life, and the anonymity of history.
"she talked to me for a long time. she shared stories of staying in london and paris and that wonderful feeling that accompanies being there. she talked of gardening and music and even stress. we hit it off like old friends." .... Joshua Langlais spends a couple of hours every day looking for a stranger to talk with and photograph. He's done this every day since September 8, 2008. The results of his work can be seen at I ♥ Strangers. [more inside]
Shelby Lee Adams has spent decades photographing the holler families of rural Kentucky and the mountain folk of Appalachia. More B&W images from the Edelman gallery. Interview With An Artist: Shelby Lee Adams (alternate B&W PDF version); Essays by Adams: All of Us and The Napier's Living Room, 1989; Interview with 92-year old Scotty Stidham.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Jim McGuire was an unlikely country music-lover, but one song changed all that. McGuire was twelve years old on the day he heard Hank Snow’s “Spanish Fireball” for the first time, and he instantly fell in love with country music forever. Music has since been a huge part of McGuire’s life—a muse for his photography—The Nashville Portraits. [more inside]
Tree Portaits. Plants with personality.
"I photograph people who skirt the edges of things; people whose connection to the broader flow is murky or obscured. Mistaken as more, less or different than they are; they aren’t really seen and don’t really belong. That’s everyone sometimes; but some more often. I try to establish a line for a moment. I hope to connect. And I see the most beautiful and the most heartbreaking things."
Extravagant Crowd - Carl Van Vechten’s Portraits of Women and Photos of African Americans. Previous post by ND¢: Creative Americans: Portraits by Carl Van Vechten 1932-1964. Also, public domain works from Wikimedia Commons. [more inside]
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