Find yourself a face by next Wednesday!

First you find yourself a face...

Listen up all ye photographers!

Scott Thomas, our resident photographer, has announced another assignment over at Views Infinitum.  The latest assignment?  It’s called Portraiture.

Now we can’t be nervous just lookin’ at the word, can we?  Stiff upper lips!  Get out your cameras.  Find a person.  Any person will do.  An interesting-looking person is a plus.

Dead beaver skull? Will this work for portraiture?

Tell them that they’re going to be a valued model for a portraiture.  (Definition of portraiture: A likeness of a person, especially one showing the face, that is created by a painter or photographer.)

When they finish fussing about why they don’t want to participate (such as they don’t look good enough, they’re too old, too young, don’t have any clean clothes, a blemish has mysteriously popped out) offer them a bribe.  You may choose the bribe.  Lunch out might be nice.  You could promise them fame, but you may not be able to follow through.

Portraiture of a snow-woman?

Scott says we must first pay attention to the background.  Find yourselves a lovely background and ask your portraiture subject to smile.  OK, maybe he looks more intriguing frowning.  Maybe a Mona Lisa half-smile will do.  Then start snapping.  Right?

No, no, no!  Scott tells us to pay attention to the lighting.  We want the lighting to appropriately highlight our subject’s cheekbones and white teeth.  (For some reason Scott says a cloudy day is appropriate…I am trying to figure that one out.  I suppose a bright vicious sun in the sky would overwhelm the subject.  She might faint.  She might look far too bright.)

Anyway, find the appropriate light.  Throw dice to figure out the most advantageous light.  Get an umbrella to shield the sun.  Gauge the appropriate hour.  Invite your victim–I mean portraiture subject–over to the house for muffins and tea.  That is, if the lighting is still correct when they drive over and you somehow have discovered an appropriate background.

How about a statue? No? Has to be a real live person?

Now start snapping.   Fool around with the flash.  (Yes, outdoors!  Scott, I HAVE learned something from your photographic advice, you see!)  Adjust the ISO.  How about adjust the white balance?  (Just kiddin’, I only adjust the white balance in wintertime, although maybe professional photographers do that with every shot.)  Mumble to yourself in camera-speak so that your subject looks impressed.

Take a couple more shots at odd angles.  How ’bout get on your knees and point the camera up at the person?  If he/she doesn’t run away now…invite her in for tea.  Tell her–if the photos turn out–you’ll paste it on her Facebook page.  When she starts protesting, give her more muffins.

After you upload your photos and fiddle with them in your Picasa software–or whatever software you use–either groan or tentatively smile.  OK, a big smile if the results look fabulous.

Then publish them on your blog.  Tell a little story about your adventure.  March on over to Scott’s blog and provide a link to your face. 

By next Wednesday.

And remember what he said!  It has to be a human.  No furry creatures.  No pieces of bark.  No statues.  No dead beaver skulls!  (What kind of person would post that on a blog anyway, shame on you!)

A person.

Find yourself a face by next Wednesday, ye photographers. 

Let us know how it goes!

And that means no bulldogs!! Don't try to sneak one in!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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38 Responses to Find yourself a face by next Wednesday!

  1. elisa says:

    oh yay this is fun!!!

    Like the tree of many faces!! And…of late there are five or so NEW trees with entire bodies and faces upon them at the Tree Place…

  2. Marianne says:

    Love the pictures, Kathy. I especially LOVE “Archie”. He is so cute! I think I’ll skip the assignment for now. I’m just learning how to use my cell phone camera. lol

    • Kathy says:

      Archie is terribly cute, isn’t he? I did a Bulldog series from Athens, Georgia, when visiting the in-laws last year. You don’t need to skip the assignment! Cell phone portraitures will do, as well. I am sure.

  3. Carol says:

    Sounds like an interesting challenge. If I can find somebody to be a model (Hub absolutely will not and neighborhood friends are all off on adventures for the next week) maybe I’ll play. We’ll see how this goes.

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, I know what you mean. Not going to even ask the hubby! I am thinking one of my friends might–just might–agree. Given the right amount of bribery. Let us know if you decide to play!

  4. holessence says:

    Kathy – I love the wide brushstroke of faces you’ve captured in this post: tree, beaver, snow, bronze, and I don’t know what Archie’s made out of. But you’ve surely covered the gamut!

  5. Dawn says:

    A person? Really? I’d like to do my Aunt Vi, whom I will see (unless it rains) on Sat…for her 95th birthday..but we won’t be anywhere with any kind of nice background…hmmmm….

    • You sure, Dawn? A trick is to use Portrait mode on a P&S or shoot with a wide aperture on a dSLR. Both will blur the background out and make for a nice background. I would love to see your Aunt Vi!

      • Elisa's Spot says:

        psst…how do you locate portrait mode??

        • Kathy says:

          My little Sony Cybershot has a portrait setting, Elisa. Don’t know where you would find it on yours, so sorry.

        • Karma says:

          Elisa – it is usually the spot on your little top dial with a face icon of some sort! 🙂

        • Elisa's Spot says:

          ooooooooooo duhhhhhhhhhhhh
          I have a Kodak z710, which has sooo many things upon it that are buried within a ME unuser and memory unfriendly manner! In the special menu is a setting for self portrait and night portrait. But on the dial on the back under auto and under sport is a face icon roflmao. I am sooo not going to tell you how long I’ve had this camera!! Though, I can avoid images of people, they just do not seem to carry the energy that I can capture in nature images.
          Had you not offered your help…i wouldn’t have been silly enough to check my camera to see if I had missed the friendly face icon!! hehe

      • Kathy says:

        Raising my hand, too. PLEASE show Aunt Vi. Anyone who is celebrating her 95th birthday deserves a portraiture. Please, Dawn.

      • Dawn says:

        well obviously I should have read this response BEFORE her 95th birthday. I’ll post the photo I DID get…but I didn’t know about the “Portrait mode.” Huh. Learn something new everyday! 🙂

  6. Yippee!!!!!!!! A playdate. I am on! Love, S

  7. OM says:

    I’d put a portrait of my sunflower face as an icon here, but I don’t know how to do that. Did you learn, Kathy, or can anyone instruct me?
    It’s my “real” face, LOL!!!

    • Cindy Lou says:

      Oh, oh…..I’d like to know how to do this, too!

      • Kathy says:

        Dear Cindy Lou and OM, I may be the bearer of bad news. I think you have to have a WordPress blog to create your own icon. Don’t know how you do it, otherwise. (I miss seeing your sunflower face, OM, and it would be interesting to see what you would create Ms. Cindy Lou.)

        • Robin says:

          Someone may have addressed this already and I didn’t read far enough but you can also get a Gravatar through Google which might show up on WordPress blogs.

          More info on Gravatars (and getting one) can be found at:

          I set mine up through Google (gmail) and WordPress.

  8. Kathy,

    Thank you for the fun post about the Portraiture challenge! I hope to see some new faces soon! 😀

  9. Robin says:

    Fun post, as usual. 🙂

    I thought about this assignment (I’m a lurker at Scott’s website). But portraits…? I dunno. The best portraits I’ve taken were candid shots. Whenever I pose people, they don’t look like themselves. In fact, that’s why there are no professional portraits of me or my husband. We’ve had a few done over the years and hated them. It didn’t look like us.

    On the other hand, given my (ahem) negative attitude, I might need this sort of challenge to shake me up a little. Change is good. Experimentation is good. Maybe, just maybe, portraits could be good. (And honestly, I’ve seen some lovely portraits but usually of people I don’t know so I couldn’t say if they still look like themselves or not.)

    • Kathy says:

      OK, Robin. Here’s the deal. My portraits may very well look–well–terrible. I am willing to be a fool and awful portrait-taker for this assignment. I am willing to moan and carry on about my camera’s silly ignorance. Shame on you, camera, for not cooperating! Shame on you, camera, for refusing to get that stellar shot!

      Let’s just do it. Let’s be willing to make a Big Mistake. Let’s be willing to screw up so badly that all our readers will say, “Hey, I can take a better portraiture than HER.”

      That’s what I’m saying now, anyway. I’ve done at least one assignment for Scott that turned out, well, not-so-good. What the heck! Tis all in fun, I think.

  10. Cindy Lou says:

    Hmmmmmm……I shall have to think about this one! Seems like I already ‘missing assignments’ on my plate right now 🙂

    But I do love the motley assortment of faces you’ve shared today!

  11. bearyweather says:

    Maybe this challenge will get me out of my photography slump (as soon as I can crawl out from under this stack of uncorrected math papers ;0)

    Thanks for adding me to your blogroll … I am flattered.

    • Kathy says:

      I didn’t know that about gravatars, Robin. Thanks for that info and link!

      Bearyweather, we both need to get out of our photographic slump! I think a new camera will help me. Don’t know where the money for that new camera would come from, though, since we might have to buy a new car.

      Good luck with those math papers. 🙂

  12. Karma says:

    I love your interpretation of faces! Leave it to you to put such a fun spin on portraiture. Will you be out of your photo slump in time for Wednesday? A new camera certainly does drag one out of a photo slump – I can attest to that, and let you in on a little secret… Best Buy stores have 18 months free financing on items of a certain price! 😉

    • Kathy says:

      I found my first unwilling victim last night, Karen. Lined her up and proceeded to forget every last bit of Scott’s advice. OK, that’s not true. Just forgot half. As for Best Buy…you must be a mind-reader! I was driving to Marquette, our nearby big city, and saw that they were putting up our first nearby Best Buy. And I thought…wonder if they have cameras? So you read my thoughts!

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