I am a avid lover of portraits. I really do. I greatly admire the human form captured within a photographic still image. It's fascinating how we can capture us in so many different formats. Whether that be through self-portraiture, candid photography or the abstract.
What's even more fascinating is the methods and styles we have used to appropriate this.
For example, Sam Taylor Johnson's self portrait as a tree is striking. Placing herself within nature itself is not only bold, but natural and somewhat ingenious.
Contextualising portraiture is wonderful. It gives such a clever insight to the artwork that the viewer is looking upon. An example of this can be found in her other work. Look at the careful play on words here in the titling of the work, refereeing shadows, Dracula and self. Powerful, personal visual metaphors.
I could go on about the likes of Richard Alvedon, Chuck Close, Vivian Maier and others. However, i think its best if i round of this blog post (as i know people are always pressed for time!).
Portraits do not have to be images of people as frontal shots. In fact people do not even have to be present. You can legitimately create a striking set of portraits of someone by only photographing the environment and the environment only. There is so much depth in which an artist can explore within when speaking about portraiture. Portraits are essentially a signature.
You can equitably showcase the human form through the use of furniture. This is due to the fact that furniture is the object of human form.
Mobile phones also! Anything that requires touch and human placement could potential be used a source of portraiture. However, it's important that we do not get too far fetched within these matters as out work may become sporadic and unfocused, therein becoming 'weak'.
However, that being said, there are essentially no boundaries! Explore to you heart's content!