What is a Character Portrait?

My friend and fellow photographer Kira Derryberry was in town last week for a board meeting of the Florida Professional Photographer’s Association and was kind enough to do a new family portrait of my family. In addition to a traditional group portrait, I asked her to also shoot individual images of each of us. We just moved into our new home and I haven’t figured out exactly where all the wall portraits will go so I wanted to have options. For example, I’m thinking of doing a collage of canvas portraits in the entryway. Once we pick the images, I’ll post them here.

After we were done with the family, Kira asked if I would pose for a character portrait. Character portraits are the sort of portraits that you see in magazines when they profile a celebrity. Instead of a “headshot” style of portrait, the photographer tries to capture something that evokes mood or shows personality. Photographers love these sorts of portraits because they allow us to be more creative. Kira had been carrying around a specific idea and pose in her head for 2 years that she wanted to try with me. That’s how we photographers are: We walk around with a pose and a light pattern in our head and wait for the right subject.

Another reason we love character portraits is that they tend to make us look cool. :)

Booray Perry