Artistic Portraits from Photography

November 02, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

In portrait photography, it seems the trend nowadays is to have a model in the middle of a forest, perhaps with her long hair weaved into the branches and leaves of the trees, often with the help of some post-processing. For a while, levitating models were another fad in portrait photography. I'm sure you've seen tons of images in these categories. Instead of following the latest trends, why not create your own style of artistic portraits?

As long as you have captured a suitable portrait to start with, many different artistic effects can be applied to alter the look of the image. The effect applied to the image below gave it an illustration look, and reminded me of an aged book cover. Something old can be refreshing when compared to the plethora of similar images out there.

A Pensive Moment *A Pensive Moment *A boy and his horse take a break from posing for visitors' cameras.

Aside from applying artistic effects, I also like to look for unique portraits while shooting street photography. Two examples are shown below. In this image, many people will say that an artistic filter was applied to the image, and won't believe when I say otherwise. It's actually a piece of installation art where a wall was covered with silver reflective film. As this passerby approached the wall, his reflection is distorted and gives an impressionistic effect to his portrait. It was a great coincidence that his outfit colour goes so well with the fuchsia colour in the wall opening! 

At the Looking GlassAt the Looking GlassAlthough some viewers see this as a filter effect created in Photoshop, it is actually a scene captured in reality. It is an art installation placed between two historic stone buildings, with reflective paper lining the inside surfaces. Anyone walking within the installation will become distorted - perhaps once they pass through the looking glass, they will enter into Alice's wonderland!

Candid shots can make for interesting portraits too. As many observers were peeking through this art installation, they became part of the artwork and added another dimension to it. The geometry of the art piece and placement of these two men in the frame created an unique portrait. The subjects' clothing colours also matched that of the artwork! What more could I have asked for?

Through the Looking MoonThrough the Looking MoonAs observers peek through the crescent moon art installation by Ai Wei Wei, they become a piece of the artwork by looking through the moons.

The styles for artistic portraits are limitless, so photographers don't need to follow the latest trends in creating similar images. We just need to keep watching for unique portrait opportunities.  


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