Faces and Figures Brief – Photographers who have studied portraiture

Theme – faces and Figures

Portraiture is about capturing and unveiling a person’s character. It takes two to record a photographic portrait, a collaboration between the sitter and photographer. Being in the moment to direct the camera and compose with openness and unleashing your creative eye.

Approach- Choose one of the approaches to capture your portraits.


Documentary approach with candid shots, your subject/s in their natural surroundings; family event/celebration, in the home, at work, sports events.

Research; Richard Avedon, Nan Goldin, Dorothea lange, Jill Greenberg, Annie Leibovitz, Mary Ellen Mark.

The following photographs taken in order of appearance by Dorothea Lange, Anna Fox and Nan Goldin.

Dorothea Lange Anna Fox


Nan Goldin


A surreal approach, looking at form, texture and detail of your subject. Close up of a face or outline of the figure sitting down/ standing. Here you can play around with focus, colour (natural light or artificial lighting you could set up a mini studio).


The following photographs are taken by; Gregory Crewdson, Bill Brandt and Cindy Sherman.

Gregory Crewdson

Bill Brandt

Cindy Sherman

Research; Nadav Kander, Bill Brandt, Man Ray, Philippe Halsman, Gregory Crewdson, Anna Fox.


Composition and Lighting

 Remember think about composition; how will you frame your subject? Choose a vantage point? Lines/suggested lines? Depth of field?

How will you light your subject? Outdoor or indoors? time of day?



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