Deadpan and Intimate Portraits

The fifth assignment for my digital portrait class at SVA is to make portraits in two different styles: deadpan and intimate. (To see previous assignments, enter “assignment” in the search field above.)

ASSIGNMENT 5: Play with different photographic styles. Challenge yourself by experimenting with different ways of seeing, and therefore image-making.

You should enlist the help of one model to work with you for this assignment. First, photograph your subject in a deadpan manner. This type of photography usually is more descriptive. You might set up a whole shoot with a tripod and lights (or not), but either way this will be a somewhat slow and thought out way of shooting. Think August Sander, Diane Arbus, Rineke Dijkstra. These pictures can be environmental, in the studio, or even just headshots.

Next, photograph the same person in a more intimate way. This may feel more candid and more lose. You may just spend a few hours with your subject and watch them as they go about their day. Think Elinor Carruci, Nan Goldin, Ryan McGinley.

Read chapters 3 (Deadpan) and 5 (The Intimate Life) in Charlotte Cotton’s book, The Photograph As Contemporary Art.

I got carried away and did the assignment twice. Thanks to my friends John and Karyn for working with me.


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