Since when has the word "Portrait" become synonymous with "Photo of a young fashionable female"

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by hoffy, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. hoffy

    hoffy Subscriber
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    Portrait photography is something that I want to get more into, so of late, I have been looking at a lot of websites, feeds and portfolios of those who shoot portraits, mainly on film.

    The one thing that I have come to notice that when ever someone says they are do portraits, they actually mean portraits of attractive young females, in varying states of dress....

    Now, while I don't have an issue with this, what so ever (& to be frank, given half a chance, I'd very much take portraits of a similar vein), it does make me wonder where all the portraits of normal folk exist?

    Has it become that to promote your best wares as a portrait photographer, you have to resort to packing your portfolio full of models that are easy to the eye?

    Or am I simply over looking them?
     
  2. RattyMouse

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    Sex sells.
     
  3. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Member

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    Disfarmer.
     
  4. OP
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    hoffy

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    Yep

    Good choice. I even find some of the stuff that Irving Penn did to depict strong middle aged portraits. But then again, he was photographing people famous - ones that we could readily recognise.
     
  5. jeffreyg

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    Yousef Karsh and Richard Avedon "The American West" to mention two more. Also check out Craig Richards environmental portraits. Dead Link Removed

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  6. jnanian

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    giles clement
     
  7. Alan Edward Klein

    Alan Edward Klein Member

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  8. tedr1

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    "sex sells" yes it does. There is also beauty which gives sex a run for it's money for some people.

    Maybe the problem is with online search engines that preferentially select certain websites that feature glamor work, maybe look at books rather than the internet? I like books of portraits, thousands have been published and the usual online retailers can often provide used copies that are inexpensive, here is Wikipedia's list of portrait photographers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Portrait_photographers
     
  9. Ko.Fe.

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    I have Karsh, Bown and HCB portraits books
    Those are real portraits and it is bimbos free.
    But every gear review or tutorial has bimbo as subject for portrait.
    Which is fine, bimbo is good and appropriate for it. Just don't mix gear review and tutorials with real photography.
    Yes, lots of sexuslided portraits on Flickr 500px and Insta, but it is mass produced dross and here is nothing wrong if bimbo wants to be in it. It is natural. But it has nothing to do with definition of the portrait.
    If you'll do it statistically portrait is kid with food all over the face and falling from the mouth. :smile:
     
  10. eddie

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    I like a portrait of a pretty face. Have done a few ( though they’d all resent to being called bimbos by virtue of nothing more than their good looks). I also like portraits of wizened faces, where the wrinkles, eyes, and expressions tell stories of lives lived.
     
  11. Vaughn

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    Harry Morey Callahan...wonderful work.

    "Bimbo" is a rotten term...an image that is derivied more from Advertising execs (male) and 50s/60s TV than reality. Lets not confuse that BS with the people themselves.
     
  12. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I never heard of such synonymity.
    It sure is not applied over here. (But I rarely look at Flickr.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  13. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    since you got old, mate, since you got old ...
     
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  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser
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    what are they selling on personal websites flickr and maybe instagram, clicks !
    i think it is just the trend these days to photograph
    model mayham chicks
    == OP check out blurb and frank petronio's book/s and
    sanders mcnew's stuff if you like the fabric free stuff
     
  16. OP
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    hoffy

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    Curious to see that the suggestions are of old masters.....
     
  17. OP
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    hoffy

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    Oh, and I also agree. Bimbo is a harsh term and is not really very fair or appropriate.
     
  18. Cholentpot

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    A little bit back it was gritty homeless portraits. And there was a fad of 'Mikey' Kid portraits.

    Part of my income is taking photos of kids, lots of kid portraits. Not many fashionable young females though.
     
  19. OP
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    hoffy

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    LOL! Yeah, the homeless thing is still popular, followed by well aged men from Egypt or Turkey :wink:
     
  20. Richard Man

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    The OP is not wrong. If you join any FB groups with the word "portraits", that's pretty the majority of the posts.

    OTOH, in my 3 ongoing portrait projects, I do have plenty of non-young female. No homeless people either.
     
  21. OP
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    hoffy

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    Do you have anything online I can look at?

    EDIT: Found you on Insta.....
     
  22. Cholentpot

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    I'd share mine too by most of my clients are insta shy so only my non-people work goes up.
     
  23. Richard Man

    Richard Man Member

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    Yup, also check out my site with links to the slideshows. The photos there are older, but have more on all 3 projects.

    Thanks
     
  24. Arklatexian

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    To answer your question honestly, I would estimate about 1,000,000 BC though I seriously doubt that many of the damsels looked much like Raquel Welch. You need to look at any of the books showing Josuf Karsh's work to see what b&w portraiture is all about. Also a Houston photographer; named Paul Linwood Gittings for color.........Regards!
     
  25. Rob Skeoch

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    I agree with the original posting although it's more of a Facebook/instagram thing than on this site.
    A second thing i noticed is the number of youtube photographers and Facebook photographers that are just producing work for the platform. No one is calling these star shooters to give them assignments to publish, the social media machine just creates photoshoots of pretty girls so they can make a behind-the-scenes video. That video is worth more than a real assignment, and like I said, no one is calling them with an assignment anyway.
     
  26. BradS

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    Is this not a portrait?
    [​IMG]
     
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