The more I do, the more I realise about their purpose and their potential.
Portraits aren't just about capturing a likeness, but about capturing something essential about character and how a person makes you feel.
I think they are quite like telling an inspiring story about someone. They give the viewer those essential details they need to know something really special about the person.
And what's really exciting for me, is the opportunity to hold up a mirror for the subject themselves and say, "this is how the world sees you". Because we don't always see ourselves clearly, and we definitely don't see ourselves the same way other people do. And at those moment that our faults might loom large in our own heads, or we are only feeling the drudgery of every day, a portrait can tap into a deeper place and say "we see you, we see the real essence of you."
We don't often have the opportunity to hear that. Its the type of thing we might say about someone to a mutual acquaintance, but we don't always say it to someone directly. But it is important. It is important to hear it, and it stirs me deeply that portraiture has the potential to contribute to personal well-being in this way.
Perhaps that thing, that drawing out of what is within, that inspires me about portraits makes me feel emotional because it is also what art has done for me. It has tapped into my inner most passions again. And it is a beautiful place to be.
For the subject I hope it is something worth remembering, that thing that is captured. Something that they might tend to forget from time to time, or only hope that others see. Something about their core essence and passions that shines from them, and that, in the portrait, is recognised, or acknowledged, or appreciated. And they can know, that if I have seen it, others have too.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!