Portrait Photography

history of portraiture to headshot photography

The history of Portraiture before Portrait Photography

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.

1920px Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci from C2RMF retouched
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

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 of human expression. Lisa del Giocondo the model of the Mona Lisa lived in Florence of what is now Italy.

Modern Portraiture – Photography

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.

green eye afghan girl national g 1
Sharbat Gula for National Geographic by Steve McCurry

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 the USSR in the ’80s. This image has an uncanny effect on most people watching her eyes and expression.

This image would later build Steve McCurry’s career and would be used countless times by National Geographic Magazine to increase revenue. Sharbat Gula’s portrait is so captivating that her image somehow manifests a deep-seated longing to buy the National Geographic Magazine.

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
Portrait Photography by Yousuf Karsh
Winston Churchill photographed by Yousuf Karsh in Ottawa. Courtesy Pinterest

Yousuf Karsh photographed Winston Churchill in 1941 ( https://karsh.org/ ) at a time when England was defending what most thought it was a losing 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

Today’s Portrait Photography – 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.

Michelle Borromeo Actor Headshots 30
Michelle Borromeo photographed by me

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 a session, Art of Headshots has 9 step process towards helping our customers reveal something genuine and profound. Later, our customers will receive a proofing gallery to chose the final image to be processed by our photo editing team. The image is professionally retouched, photoshop and deliver to the customer via the 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.

That is our process but countless of other photography studios around the World have devised unique systems for capturing modern portraits, headshots.

Avoid bad headshots by choosing the right photographer

As obvious as it may seem, I am often amazed by companies and individuals trying to shortcut and save money.  “We had our receptionist do our headshots but it backfired – we hated the pictures…  We are a professional architectural firm and our headshots didn’t match up with our talent”, that was a recent clients starting call.  “I have been an amateur photographer for years and thought I could do my Wive’s headshot, all we did was argue and it was uncomfortable”.

Headshots seem simple but they are not easy and require a certain type of professional who has the aptitude for taking portraits and the professional system allowing you the customer to have all the resources needed.  Avoid hiring a professional simply because he or she is in the photography business. Learn more https://artofheadshots.com/how-to-choose-a-headshot-photographer/

Other articles by Art of Headshots

actor headshot photographers

Being one of the actor, headshot photographers, has never been more exciting or fulfilling than now. “Carlos, my son, just received a role on a new Netflix series,” explained one of my VIP clients after a headshot session. “Thank you for the headshot that opened this opportunity.” US film productions are moving to Vancouver, Toronto, […]

personal branding for entrepreneurs

Art of Headshots provides the essential personal branding for entrepreneurs tool; Your headshot is the spiritual logo of the founder. We don’t merely generate headshots but an Art of Headshots, which is photographed differently, with passion, observation and a meticulous system aimed toward realizing a portrait that will ignite smiles from your loved ones and […]

BLACK LIVES MATTER

Black Lives Matter; in 2020 racism isn’t acceptable and much less a system that purposefully or mistakenly promotes racism. We at Art of Headshots, care, care about the evolution of a better society for all. While in High School I joined the Rugby team and played bench all year because I was the shortest player […]

Headshots for Social Media and branding success

Headshots for social media is the paramount tool for success for online branding. Upon googling the search term “best social media tool” one will find articles upon news about applications like Buffer, Social Clout, Feedly and the list will go on forever. Tons of recommended applications found to improve content and nothing mentioned regarding headshots […]

Terry O’Neill

Terry O’Neill ( 1938 – 2019 ) “As one of the most iconic photographers of the last 60 years, his legendary pictures will forever remain imprinted in our memories as well as in our hearts and minds.” Rolling Stones. Terry O’Neill a British iconic portrait photographer died at the age of 81 at his home […]

Personal Branding

All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEO’s of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called you. Excellencenow.com Why is personal branding important? Whether we are aware, or not aware, everyone is a brand […]

What is a headshot

What is a headshot? What does the meaning of the word headshot? Bloggers filling content describe it as a picture of a person’s face, which isn’t accurate. The word headshot was originally used to describe portraits for casting in the movie industry printed in 8″ by 10″ format in the 50’s, later in the 90’s […]

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 political headshot will help you achieve these goals and more, so take […]

Call Now Button