A portrait is a likeness. They've been etched on cave walls, minted onto the sides of coins from every age since the Bronze Age, and sketched, painted, and photographed since the beginning of recorded history. Naturally, styles and fashions have changed over time, but the portrait endures as a form of art, communication, and keepsake. We like to remember those we love, admire those we find beautiful, commemorate those we find valuable. The photographic portrait may well be one of the more important social tools we have.
But don't let this notion daunt you. The very reason photographic portraits are so important is that they are made so often by so many people. Indeed, more pictures of people are taken every year than any other subject, and more and more pictures are being taken each year. Whether you want to document your child's life, your brother's Olympic training, or the life of the man who keeps the last lighthouse lit, portrait photography is for everyone. Everyone.
If you have a basic understanding of photography — and you need only a basic understanding, and a willingness to learn a few simple but specialized techniques — not only can you take portraits, you can take great portraits.
Digital portrait photography is a blast! Oh, all photography is fun, of course, but digital photography offers you not one but two unique opportunities. ...