Portrait Photography

history of portraiture to headshot photography

The history of Portraiture

Portraiture can be traced back to five thousand years ago in ancient Egypt, where it flourished. A painting, sculptures or drawn portraits were the only methods for recording people before photography was invented.

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The Mona Lisa painting also known as La Jaconde is arguably the most recognized Portrait in the World. Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to paint it anywhere between 1502 to 1516. While he would paint the Mona Lisa he was also dissecting human cadavers allowing him to have an extraordinary ability and understanding for human expression. Lisa del Giocondo the model of the Mona Lisa lived in Florence of what is now Italy.

Modern Portraiture – Photography

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Sharbat Gula for National Geographic by Steve McCurry

Modern portraiture or portrait photography is a picture of a person or group of people that captures the personality of the individual. Some portraits are artistic, journalistic or in most cases are used for special occasions such as graduations or weddings.

Sharbat Gula was photographed by Steve McCurry during a visit to a refugee camp in Palestine, Israel. She was a child who had lost her home due to the invasion of Afghanistan by USSR in the 80’s. This image has an uncanny effect on most people watching her eyes and expression.

This image would later build Steve McCurry’s career and be used countless of times by National Geographic Magazine to increase revenue.

In 2016, Sharbat Gula was arrested for allegedly possessing a fake identity card and swiftly deported to Afghanistan. She was suddenly forced to leave behind a life of 25 years, during which she had gotten married, raised children and became part of a community. Sharbat Gula was one of more than 600,000 people expelled to Afghanistan in 2016, in what Human Rights Watch described as the “world’s largest unlawful mass forced return of refugees in recent times”.

Amnesty International
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Winston Churchill photographed by Yousuf Karsh in Ottawa. Courtesy Pinterest https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/451978512587704090/

Yousuf Karsh photographed Winston Churchill in 1941 at a time when England was defending what most thought it was a loosing cause. Churchill would use his portraits and speeches to rally the British to go beyond and to fight.

We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

Winston Churchill

Portraits for Social Media – Headshots

The size of the World remains the same but the access towards any corner of the World has become immediate. People can work virtually and shop for items anywhere online. We have lost touch and portrait photography has become a way to bring closeness to each other.

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Michelle Borromeo Actor’s headshot by Carlos Taylhardat

A headshot is a modern portrait where the focus is on the person just like portraiture but today is mostly used for casting ( actor headshots ), looking for work and in the ‘about us’ page of a corporate team. We like to incorporate the best of the old and the new together to produce our distinct process for revealing an Art of Headshots.

During the session we have a 9 step process towards helping our customers reveal something genuine and profound than the customer will receive a proofing gallery to chose the final image to be processed by our photo editing team. The image is professionally retouched, photoshop’d and deliver to the customer via web in different optimizations to be used in social media, email correspondences or printed. Our goal is to produce a portrait that encourages their loved one’s to smile.

Other articles by Art of Headshots

Headshots for Social Media and branding success

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Personal Branding

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What is a headshot

What is a headshot? Bloggers filling content describe it as a picture of a person’s face, which isn’t accurate. The word headshot was initially used for portraits for casting in the movie industry printed in 8 by 10 format and then Real Estate Agent started to use portrait headshots for advertising with a lot of […]

Retouching Professional Headshot

Did you have a headshot session and received a proofing gallery, to choose a portrait for retouching? Consider that professional editing is an opportunity to make good portraits into great headshots, and not for becoming someone else. We will enhance the features you want – like eyes and emotional expression and reduce unwanted items. More important […]

Political headshot services

It is election time in Canada, if you are running a campaign with a check-list of impossible tasks. Such as inspiring your foot soldiers (volunteers), raise funds and trust your campaign manager. Additionally, you may have to debate, delegate and most importantly inspire. Your portrait headshot will help you achieve these goals and more, so take […]

Portrait Photography

The history of Portraiture Portraiture can be traced back to five thousand years ago in ancient Egypt, where it flourished. A painting, sculptures or drawn portraits were the only methods for recording people before photography was invented. The Mona Lisa painting also known as La Jaconde is arguably the most recognized Portrait in the World. […]

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