Task 3 – Portraiture

Task 3 – Research

For this task we are asked to take 4 portraits, 2 of the subject and 2 of objects that represent this person but up to us how we chose to interpret this subject matter. 

We are to take them as if we were entering the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize competition, with this I began to research what the art work is like for this competition. 




From my research what I have read and understood about the portrait prize is that photographers push themselves to create interesting and unusual portraiture. The Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize competition also encourages talent from amateur photographers, student and young. 

When looking through the online gallery I slowed down and enjoyed the images, this I feel is the aim of art work. To slow people down and to take a moment to enjoy the work, and reflect.

Whilst looking at the work of previous prize winner Spencer Murphy, an English photographer who took a portraiture of the Jockey Katie Walsh. In the image I feel he wanted to show her feminine side but also her strong side. She is a powerful woman and the image he captured describes this.  His work is below, I feel that he captured this inspiring woman incredibly well in this photograph and he has given me inspiration to create something like this.



Another photographer’s work who I admired was the series of work by photographer Dorothee Deiss for The Twins. This work to me was eye catching, it kept me thinking and looking for longer. I would love my work to do this to my audience.


I feel that I have a good understanding as to what the he Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize competition is about. I am going to start making images as I feel this is the best way to generate ideas . 

From looking at the work from the Taylor Wessing Prize I started looking in to thoughts and ideas which I could do for my final images.

I wrote my ideas down on notes as ideas would come to me at different times, so below are my notes whited I stored on my phone. From these thoughts I had inspiration to take photos of objects that represented me, at this stage I didn’t know if I wanted to do a self portrait or a portrait of somebody.

Objects that represent: 

Make up –
Applying make up,
applying your face,
hiding behind make up,
what it says about that person, 
-drag queens
-self portrait 
-everyday people 
Watch somebody apply their face in the morning, old, young.
Tattoos –
What do they say about people and them self?
Why do people get them?
Meaning behind tattoos
Representation of them selves
Blank Canvas 
Spotlight lighting, dark, studio back ground,
Names – 
First impression someones gets of you before you meet them. 
What does our names represent about us? 
Do people judge us by our name? 
What do our names mean? 
Light paint a name,
Belongings –
Things we can’t live with out
people, family, friends, lovers 
luxury items 
Pets –
Pets and their owners
What do they represent about somebody 

Relating back to my idea of shoes representing somebody’s personality I started taking images. With these images I was trying use the items (that belonged to the person I photographed) to represent them without seeing their face.

Photographing the person from behind I felt wouldn’t let the viewer judge them, but the back of the person would give enough information about them so the viewer is happy.

The two people who I photographer are actually twins, I each asked them to pick their favourite shoes that represented them well and they each picked similar shoes.

This to me was very interesting.

I also photographed them in their own separate rooms, in their own environment and space.

(Images below) 

IMG_6313 IMG_6310 IMG_6300


I feel that I could expand this idea further but before I do I am going to experiment with other ideas to see what else I could consider.

Self Portrait – My belongings 

As I wasn’t happy with my previous set of photographs I continued to look at ideas that I jotted down as notes. One of these ideas was to take an alternative self portrait in an unusual way I thought about this, and photographed things I use everyday. I decided to go with a beauty theme, I wanted to take a picture of my self but of the products I use in my everyday life.

These images below show the amount of products I have in order to be confident, it’s a portrait of what I am.

However I didn’t wish to continue with this idea so again I went back to my thoughts and ideas an began to look at the portrait of a tattoo.

IMG_6369 IMG_6332 photo 1 copy

I am looking into the idea of how tattoos represent us and what they mean to the person who owns one. 

As I have no tattoos myself I am inquisitive to understand why people have them and what they represent about them.

Thinking back the Taylor Wessing portrait prize competition I am looking at how my work could be on this level.

I am going to use the knowledge from what I learnt this term about studio and set my own studio at home. I feel that moody lighting for these images would be a great way of adding depth to my portraits.

These are my final images that I have selected from a series of shots, I feel that these shots are the ones that I feel represent these people well and tell a portrait of themselves using their tattoos to explain them.

In order to shoot these images I had one light which I light from the left side in a corner of a room, this how I got the darkened effect on the side or the portrait.

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