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A Portrait of the Artist E-mail
(7 - user rating)
Written by Brian Grover   
Friday, 06 November 2009 10:54
Assignment Number Three
Successfully photographing people is one of the most difficult assignments a photographer can undertake and this assignment is all about photographing people. Like the great portrait photographer, Yousuf Karsh, your task this time is to capture the essence of a single person in a single shot. This could be through a formal shoot of a person you know well or it could be a candid portrait of a stranger. Your choice. I've chosen two of each as examples....

Something to keep in mind: Every portrait is a self-portrait. The choices you make will always reveal more about you than they do about the subject matter.

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Julie, when I knew her, presented herself as worldly, a little street-hardened even. In the making of this shot she let her guard down for a moment and I was able to capture a warmer, softer side.
Julie with Cats

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Refined and urban chic, Atsuko, like many of her countrymen, was up against the wall, trapped in a web of duty to family, to work, to country and probably to duty itself.
Japanese woman against shoji screen

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Masks can hide but they also reveal. This shot was taken at the annual Illuminaire Festival in Vancouver's East Side. Look closely at the eye. For once, even the annoying "red eye" problem works to advantage.

Click Image to Zoom

I'm not sure why but this shot always connects up in my mind with Rodin's "The Gates of Hell". It would be pretty easy to argue that this is a terrible shot. The lighting is a horror show, while motion blur and a soft focus further weaken it. As a photo, it may not be much. As a street portrait it rocks.
Burning in Chinatown

All photographs were taken by Brian Grover. To browse more images visit my photo gallery here: Brian Grover Photography.


If you find these assignments useful, Tell a Friend or Share them on Facebook, Twitter or other Social Bookmarking sites.

In addition to viewing these assignments online, you can subscribe, having them delivered to your e-mail account on a biweekly basis over the course of an entire year. Subscribing helps to give you regular reminders and motivation to get out and shoot. To subscribe read the Introduction.


Copyright © 2007 Brian Grover. Content Distribution is Prohibited
The graphical images and content hosted at are viewable for private use only. All other rights - including, but not limited to, distribution, duplication, and publication by any means - are the exclusive property of Brian Grover and Whisky-Jack Communications. International law provides criminal and civil penalties for those found to be in violation.

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