CIS Photography Part 4

The Portrait

Portrait photography is a genre that is very close to my heart. Some say a great portrait captures a person’s soul, personally I think this is nonsense. However, a great portrait will reveal a little about both the photographer and the subject. For this project you are going to take a photo of someone you know. This can be a friend, a member of your family, or someone that works at your house. The only strict rule I am going to give you is that you ask permission of the person you are photographing. The photo below is of a transgender lady, captured at the Angalaman Festival in Tamil Nadu.

NOTICE – Hangout today at 1.30pm India time. Details at the end of this post.

Task 1


The above programme looks at the work of Platon. When I watched this programme I was struck by the humility of this photographer. Look at how he works from a low angle, talking to the subject when on his knees. Also look at the simplicity of his work. The lighting and equipment is expensive, but still very minimal. After you have viewed this movie, please make go to our google classroom and make a comment about anything that struck you as interesting.

Task 2

I want you to take this portrait using natural light. Placing your subject next to a window is one of the easiest lighting. Talk to your subject, ask them to tell a story about when they were younger, or a time they remember having fun. Try to avoid the obvious ‘cheesy smile’ photo. Here is an article that may inspire you.


You can use any camera for this challenge. However, if you are enjoying photography, then it may be time to think of getting, or using a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera). If you want to talk about the setting you would use for this, then please make sure you attend the zoom meeting tonight where I will host question and answer sessions.

The image above is termed an ‘environmental portrait’. This style of photo is taken in the location where the subject works, or lives. At home it could be a photo of you parents working in the kitchen, or in a home-office. It could also be a younger sibling playing with his, or her toys. The featured photo is of a shoe-repair man. who lived and worked in an older area of Shanghai.


  • Choose your background wisely. I.e. take what you learned from the minimalism course and make sure the background is clean and empty.
  • Make sure the eye closest to your camera is in focus. This is more important with a DSLR, than with a phone camera.
  • Engage with your subject. Talking to people will always help them relax.
  • Take LOTS of images. Post only 1-2.


Don’t forget to upload 1-3 of you BEST images. I will then select those images that can be used for our online exhibition. All images should be uploaded to our Google Classroom.

Market Worker – Bangalore


Lets hangout later today and I will take any questions and answers – as well as give feedback on some of your photos. This hangout is at 1.30pm India time.

Chris Page is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Photography Q and A
Time: Jul 6, 2020 08:00 PM Auckland, Wellington

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 851 4168 9713
Password: 4z6sUw

Inspiring Portrait Photographers

If you are looking for further inspiration, here are some of my favourite portrait photographers for you to google.

  • Steve McCurry
  • Annie Leibovitz
  • Diane Arbus
  • David Bailey
  • Mary Ellen Mark

Take care and keep clicking, Chris

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is olympus-1-of-12.jpg

If you enjoy following this blog, feel free to buy me a coffee! Support is appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s