Blake Kellogg 2015

Portraiture is one of the most widely explored worldwide subjects in photography. Whether a photographer shoots models, family members, acquaintances, or the unknowing passerby; he or she is trying to show you something. It might be about their subject or it might be a moment and idea they are imposing upon the viewer.

How will you embrace this subject matter as you try to make a voice using the artform of portraiture?


Your goal or Quest is to Explore, Demonstrate, and Create an understanding of how a portraits can be both artistic and informative? How can a portrait tell a story either defined by the photographer or directed to tell about the model?


Ryan Joubert 2012


Keys to Success: 

  • have a plan
  • control and influence your light
  • compose the scene
  • use key stylistic choices for your portrait
  • find inspiration


Takayuki Yoshida 2009


HRHS Student Portraiture Gallery

To explore deeper continue on to stage two.


ALWAYS read the entire quest before beginning to ensure you understand all requirements. Remember the process is worth at least half of the project grade. 


Project Learning Outcome Goals:

  • Justify purposeful choices in the creation of work
  • Create meaningful works of art that demonstrate expressive features and perspective
  • Evaluate how art communicates perspective


Create your new project page titled PORTRAITSNow copy and paste the following as you will need to complete and document these 7 Stages of your design process:

  1. Understand the Problem
  2. Research and Investigate
  3. Generate Possible Solutions
  4. Select AND DEVELOP Best Solution 
  5. Model and Prototype (Create)
  6. Test and Evaluate
  7. Produce


  • Research and develop an understanding of what portraiture is as an artform.
  • Produce a 2 photos that meet the criteria of a portrait. (at least 2700 pixels wide or tall)
    • one of the two must be a self-portrait
    • the second may be of any style you choose
  • Use and demonstrate a control of purposeful lighting styles in your development
  • Create an original approach to an often boring portrait associated with "ID photos"
  • Explore and demonstrate at least one NEW skill
  • Maintain technical skills while being experimental
    • Clarity, Color, Composition, Creativity, Exposure, Quality





1. Consider what the goal of your portrait is

  • What is a portrait?
  • How do they differ in the styles?
  • What will be your greatest challenges of this project?
  • What is your goal (not Coulson's) in this project?


     Design Process STAGE 2: Research and Investigate

Always record every resource you use as a link that opens in a new window/tab.

2. Research Portraiture through technique AND other artist's styles?

  • Research lighting techniques!
  • Find inspiration in at least three other artists
  • What new skills can be used create better portraits
  • What digital effect might enhance your portrait story

Use some of my Diigo resource links for Portraits for inspiration or direction

Reference books in our classroom Library:

Notes available

     Design Process STAGE 3: Generate Possible Solutions

3. Brainstorm ideas (lots of them) -- Show your brainstorming as idea webs, clouds, lists, found imagery, small sketches of elements (at least 25 ideas, words, elements required) These are original ideas not just copied from other photographer unless you are developing an idea "further" although inspiration is often a key to solutions.

  • Brainstorm - concepts (what you photo might show, say, or communicate)
  • Brainstorm - style, techniques, or even a medium you could use
  • Brainstorm - models, environments, props, lighting effects, colors, digital manipulations

4. Begin sketching thumbnail ideas for more detailed composition. (location, time, props, light, your plans)

  • Sketch at least 3 completely different plans in your sketchbook and load to project page.
  • Thumbnail sketches should be about 4" sketches in sketchbook
  • Plans should be ORIGINAL though inspired!
  • use notes to clarify your ideas.
  • Remind yourself of your goals for the project. Are you still pursuing them?


     Design Process STAGE 4: Select and Develop Best Solution

5. Select the best solution

  • Why did you have chose it
  • detail your plans BEFORE you shoot
  • Consider Depth of Field and Motion
  • How you light, space, light (value) impact your solutions


      Design Process STAGE 5: Model and Prototype (Create)

6. Begin production of your design

  • REQUIREMENT: Final images should be at least 2700 pixels wide or tall (max of 10000 pixels)
  • TECHNICAL: Practice, develop or refine new skills you are exploring.
  • CRAFT: Remember Craftmanship matters. It shows you care!
  • ORIGINALITY: All images must be original and follow copyright laws
  • DOCUMENTATION: Remember to take in-progress screenshots for you project page


     Design Process STAGE 6: Test and Evaluate

7. Self-reflect on your image before you decide it is complete

  • self-reflect and carefully evaluate what you can do better
  • Ask others for their opinions and document the suggestions whether you agree with them or not.
  • Refine or develop elements of the design that can be improved
  • Consider asking the Captain for a brief In-Progress Critique


     Design Process STAGE 7: Produce

8. Turn in the final .JPG and Print

  • Turn in final images
  • Include final photos AT TOP of project page
  • Finalize Project Page with full self-reflection
    • How could you improve? (skills, effort, planning, time management, craft, exploration, research)
    • successes
    • struggles
    • improvements
    • what you learned
  • Fill out self-evaluation  sheet



COMPLETE: You need a fully finished project page included all scanned sketchbook work with captions. Turn your your finished artwork to the Captain's Server. Finally Paste the URL to your project page below and you may then click complete.

Great Work Design Agent.

Amazing work, Visitor.

Be Proud.

Go hang the finished piece on the Critique wall at the front of the classroom. Other's need to see what you have accomplished.

BONUS Self Assessment Loot:

After completion of your project and project page documentation choose one of the appropriate self-assessments for yourself. Consider the skill, craftsmanship, originality, and composition of your final Product:

Over The Top

Nailed It

Good, But…

At Least I Finished It

You are a truly special talent, Visitor!

We have big plans for you!!


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