Assignment#11 – Candid Portraits

Due December 15th.

What is a portrait? Historically this has been understood as: “a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, especially one depicting only the face or head and shoulders.” (Source: Oxford English Dictionary.) There are many forms  of portraits, such as group portraits, portraits of couples and families as well as self-portraits, but we’ll be focusing on the individual portrait, which has historically been implied by just saying “portrait.”  Photography is now the normal way portraits are made and there are three kinds of portraits: Candid, Formal and Abstract.

This class we are covering candid portraits.  What does a candid portrait mean?  Candid photography is just catching people being natural or themselves. It is not to grab pictures secretly or in a sneaky way,  with your subjects unaware that the picture is being taken. The best candid pictures result when the subjects know and don’t care. With relaxed subjects, the photographer can take his or her time, and wait for the right moment or the right look to capture. The result is a more natural photograph that tells something about the people being photographed.

This will require patience!  Take lots of pictures of the subject.  As they get more used to the camera, they will pay less attention to the photographer and a candid portrait will be easier to get.  If you have younger family members, kids are great at ignoring the camera and people interacting with children or pets will follow suit.  It is also easier to get candid shots if people are distracted by an event or job.

Your assignment is to take candid portraits.  Try utilizing past lessons to make it interesting (rule of thirds, low angles, forced perspective, contrast, lens flare, etc.).  Email, from your school account if possible, with your best photograph.  Include your name, date and assignment information.  Late assignments lose 10% each day after the due date.