What's in A Portrait?


You're going to look at practitioners who visualise the human condition.

You can make this as broad as you like - portraiture, social documentary, personal diary, road trip, reportage, etc.

What is Portrait? 

It is pretty this is a genre of photography that simply involves capturing the essence of a person. Highlighting mood, facial expressions, emotions of your subject within a photograph. 


Sam Shaw

He is famously well know for the way he captures some of the most iconic movements in history. His close friendship with Marilyn Monroe allowed him to capture her in some truly valuable and intimate moments. His photography captured the essence of a person and an era. She remains a potent sex symbol and cultural icon. Her beauty, glamour and vulnerability were captured through out her whole life. 


It's incredibly that Sam was able to document her life through photography. And some of the most recognizable photographs are by the man himself. 

Sam Shaw’s 1954 photograph of Marilyn Monroe taken for a set-piece poster image in New York ©

My Throughts On This Photograph

The great thing about the way that summers shot. This is that it's in a busy street in a busy environment and is highlighting the true nature of this person. Her personality clearly quite quirky and outgoing in this era. I think the way the sam shot this has made it look like all eyes are on her. You can see the people in the background clearly looking at her way. Also at all the cameras in the background wanting to capture Monroe.


As we all know that Sam was very close friends with Marilyn Monroe and you can clearly see by a facial expression. The way she smiles towards the camera, that she's willing to show this side of her. The happy loud person the media know well about before the chaos of her issues later in life.


We can see how she is happy and open to Sam as their friendship allowed him to really document their life. That's possible the most famous photograph of Monroe herself within the city of New York. 

Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, New York - 1957 

My Throughts On This Photograph 

When I look into this picture I can see multiple things. The first thing is the main focus of the actual photo. It shows Arthur and Marilyn Monroe clearly showing some sort of intimate moment of love which is very powerful. 


But also the way it captures the actual busy city behind them. Clearly the city that has brought them together. We can see cars go in past we can see the bridge behind them with the outline of the city. 


The way that Sam Shaw shot this in a very natural way. It doesn't look like it's been set, but it looks very natural. Its capturing a great moment between 2 people. 

Geoffrey Jones

He is a award winning photographer from Canberra, Australia. He is well know for his use of coloured lighting to highlight models and beauty. The way of using the lighting to fill the space with a feeling of emotion. The tones of colour create this mood around each of his photographs. 


His photography has two sides the mundane to the completely whacked out. Which makes his photographs really stand out with colours that pop and fill the space. 

Serena01-3000 By Geoffrey Jones

My Throughts On This 

The great thing about this image is how the colour defines the figure of the person's face. It's a great portrait. The colour lighting kind of creates these odd shadows around her face. This gives more depth and more detail into the actual image. 


The red and the green come together to create. Some sort of mood, it's quite a mysterious one I can't really fully explain what it kind of mood. It giving off but the fact their hair is thrown all over the place. Add an extra effect to it. The subject is posed in a way of looking to the right and you can see certain features. Upon her face like a eyelashes, her hair, lips and the outline of her face. Creating this very moody effect. 


The location of this shot is clearly inside of a studio they've used coloured gels / filters. To fill the space with these colours it help the image pop and standout to the view. It's eye catching. 

nocture_by Geoffrey Jones

My Throughts On This Photograph

The greatest thing about this photograph is due to the fact that the photographer is chosen to use multiple colors. He's used a shade of purple blue and orange. And these colours go really well upon this girl face. Each colour highlights a certain details upon the person's face. Like our eyes, lips nose in your line. The blue tone gives off this good amount of depth and feel to it. Then the purple coloured light on the back of the model fills up a space. Maybe the space that some people forget about but clearly this is drawing our eyes upon this forgotten area. Then the soft orange on the front highlights certain person's figure. 


The location of this shirt is clearly in a studio. The photographers used colored filters / gels to create this coloured lighting. The nice thing about this picture is the fact that the colours are balanced out in away which makes it pop. 

Recreation to the photographers styles 

I have recreated the style of Geoffrey Jones. I did this in the studio by using the studio lighting and backdrops. To recreated his style in my own way. 

How did I do this? 

Out of the artists I chose to recreate Geoffrey Jones style of using coloured lighting to really define a model / subject. The set up for this shoot was pretty simple. I used the studio available inside of the University using colour gels and the studio lights available. I was able to recreated this style of Photography. 


Overall, I'm very happy with the results I got with some simple editing on photoshop. I've Been able to edit these images to the style that I wanted. I really wanted the pictures to kind of pop out a little bit but also to come down to have some sort of mood within them. Allowing the colours to highlight features upon the subject face. 

Using film with a photography studio

The same way of which you would use a digital camrea the main difference being you can't see your images till you prossess them. So its important you get a few details right so you can create the best out comes. 

There are techniques you can use to make sure this happens

Using a light meter to read the right camrea settings to make sure your images are the right exposure. Using this will let you know the right camrea settings so you can capture the images you want. 

Lighting set up of course its important for you as a photographer to layout your studio so it fits the type of photography you wanna shoot. In this case for portrait there are 3 main layouts you can use to get the best portraits within a studio setting. 

These are.....

Three-point lighting

This method allows the photographer to control how the subject is lit and also manage any unwanted shadows. It's a handy way to create the desired lighting effect for your photographs. This technique fills the space so you can capture a very clean image and make sure that your lighting is covering all your model or subject.

Butterfly Lighting 

This is a great way to light up a portrait. You basically place the main light right above and in the middle of the model / subjects face. By the way that light falls on the person's face it creates this shadows which creates this butterfly shape under the nose. This adds a touch of death to the photographs you are taking. 

Rembrandt Lighting

This technique is set up if great for making your model / subject standout with a showdow that lands on the face. Creating a more captivating look with less equipment. You can achieve this pretty simply by using one light at a 45°. Angle towards the model at high level. This creates a odd shadow across someone's face. This creates a triangle underneath the corner of the eye.

Mini Project - A bit Personal 

The name of this mini Project is "A Bit Personal". The reason for is it between two main Factors. Firstly I am taking self portrait using studio lighting and a film camera. An secondly due to the fact that using film and developing is a long process compared to digital. I wanted to add my personal touch to develop my photographs. It takes over 1hr to see the results. 

Being a self portrait of myself I normally being behind the camrea this time I wanted to experiment being infornt of it. As a photographer it's important to try n show your personality when you show your photography. But I need to show a bit of myself in self portraits.

Also the mainly I wanted to highlight My skills when it comes to using studio lighting and film. Being able to use a technique like this opens a market slightly bigger for me. When it comes into moving into my career being able to use film may grow my clientel. As film is become more popular in the past few years. 

Behind the Scene 

As you can say I was in the studio on my. This meant, I had to lean forward with the camera. Set up on a 35 mm so it was quite wide. Focus it and also take a picture by pressing the button on the camera. The studio lights going off. Very much like taking a selfie with your phone. But not being able to see the results till you develop your film. 

Contact Sheet

As you can see, every single photo on the contact sheet has come through pretty detailed and has exposed properly. This is because I did a test strip and also due to the fact that the studio lighting has the camrea settings the same pretty much every time. Out of all the photos. I have pitched my three favourites which is kind of hard to do due to the fact that it's me and I don't like any of them to be honest; but again if I was a photographer. Looking at these, there are three that catch my eye out kind of forgetting the idea that is me. 


Top Three Photographs - also the one out of the three which is final print  

Photo 1 

This one shows a creative kind of crazy personality is not normal smile. It's kind of a cheeky one. This show a side crazy and not really taking much care. I need to forget this is me for a second. I can see a young lad, headphones, curly hair and so what of a smile more just show teeth. The headphone is because he love music and can't not listen to something. Music is his support in away helps this crazy personality clam down. 

The lighting for this shoot was full lighting with two softboxes either side. This gave a clear shoot of myself. With minor shadows around the nose and mouth have a good exposure. The local for the shoot was within the studio and allowed me to keep my lighting controlled giving me a clear idea on printing and scanning in the darkroom. 

Photo 2


This Photograph is me with my hand under my chin and wearing my headphones. This self portrait feels to me I am fully exposed, which is weird to say because of course, in self portrait. You gonna see the face? But at the same time it's a photographer. I wanna be kind of hidden if I make sense. 


The location of this shoot again was in the studio I used Full lighting with a small back light. Capturing small shadows.

Photo 3 - Finally Print

This photo is the one that I chose to make a full print. To be my final print in this mini project. The reason why I chose this was because of 2 factors. One, the studio lighting was a light side. I wanted to cover some of my face is to add some sort of mystery to who I am. But you see my eyes, headphone and parts of who I may be. 

Again taking self portraits is quite hard for me. As am used to being behind the camrea explains the reason the title. This process of developing, and taking the photographs. Is around myself. And also the fact that I'm trying to hide a little bit away from the camera. 

Strangers In The Park

This project is called " Strangers in the Park". The focus is a park within the city of Preston. I wanted to highlight the different types of people who inhabit that space. I wanna capture the essence of community and also the diversity of individuals in the park. 

Research - Photographer

Joel Sternfeld

He is an American photographer know for his large, colourful picture that captured everyday life in American. His work combines history, location, People and the changing seasons to highlight his work. Overall, Sternfelds photography a beautiful portrait of America with an ironic and non judgement perceptive. 

Well know for The Project "strangers passing"

This project is a massive project that Sternfeld took on producing and documenting. A project over a period of fifteen years Jeol travelled across America and took portrait photographs of the people he ment on his journey. 


His work not being like the tradition portriat but the people in staged surroundings. Showcasing the people and the there stories with there fashion, habits and location of the shot. I like that Sternfelds went toward people who standout and the diversity between the different people across America. 

Something that all of these images have incommon is the diversity between the people. Also a the stories they can tell just through there fashion, habits and soundings of these photographs. 

The Location

Location - Winkley Park, Preston 

The reason for this Location. I believe if I can keep my project within a space I can capture more and tell a big story of the people and tell a story about the Park itself. 


History Of Winkley Park

This park was created in 1801 as a residential area for the towns Upper class and business men. Nowadays, its a community of offices, and the park is now public open with social spaces for people to go hang out, eat there lunch etc. 

From this images of the park from above you can see that the size of this park. Is a small area to be playing around with for my project. One of the challenges I will face is we are in the winter season so will people still habit this location. Within this cold months.


Project Diary 

14 December - 2023

This was my first day starting the actual photographic process of going out in taking pictures. The difficult thing wasn't  approaching people because am quite confident when it comes to that, but it was more the fact that the traffic through the park was quite slow. I found myself sitting on the bench watching over the park. Waiting for people to pass through.

Over this time I managed to get 6 people to say. Yes, and let me take a picture.  After asking over 50 people, For my 1st day on the actual project. I am kind of happy with my results. I've got six fantastic portraits across different ages. Between 20ish to 60plus, all men. I did ask a mixture of people, but am guessing some people just don't feel comfortable with the idea of me taking a picture of them. Which is fine. 

The Camera settings for this were pretty much the same for out. I used manual my ISO 400 / SS 1/125 / 8Fs. This allowed me to get a pretty solid picture of every single person. My lens length was 35mm, The reason for this is that I wanted to make sure. I captured the actual background of the park. The park is just one massive square and you can tell. Where it is, this is the reason. I wanted to use a 35mm to make sure I got in the background as much as a person as well. 

These are the results.

Digital Story - The Markets

A digital stories are pretty simple to understand they are videos that combine audio, images and video clips to tell a story. That tell a storyline to the viewer in a easy way and is easy to access in this modern world.

My Digital Story

The way I plan to put this Digital Story together is using portraits from people I know at the markets. This community of young people at the night time are hidden yet, well know. The fashion, type of people and that use this location at a hang out zone. 

I captured the people that fill this space and put it together to create this short film/video. Roughly 90secs long. Highling the people. These 10 images of different people each having there independence yet work together within this project. 

The Building Blocks

Photography/ Photographs

These are the 10 images that have been put into creating this digital story. I think the purity of each photograph shows the view a factor of the fashion, culture and the group in a nice yet rough way. 

The Audio 

I got the audio by recording the surrounding area on my phone. At 9pm at night at the markets. You can hear the cars passing with the busy city, the group talking and chatting away and the music from markets playing out to fill the spots.

Final Outcome - The Markets "Hidden Community"