DC Portrait 16
The Assignment: D.C. Portrait

Think of a portrait, and you automatically put yourself in a box. “A portrait is a painting, photograph, or other artistic representation of a person. Portraits are often simple ‘head shots’ and are not usually overly elaborate or creative. The intent is to show the basic appearance of the person, and occasionally some artistic insight into his or her personality.”

Your task is to get outside that box.

Photography (specifically the Daguerreotype in the 19th century) was popularized, at least in part, due to the demand for inexpensive portraiture.

Self portraits have become a popular method of personal expression.

In literature, “portrait” refers to a written description or analysis of a person or thing. A written portrait often gives deep insight, and offers an analysis that goes far beyond the superficial.

Go beyond the superficial.

Don’t just think of this as having to be of a person. Maybe your portrait is of an object that says “D.C.” more than any person could. Maybe not. This is photojournalism, after all.

If you want to have a little more fun, try to interpret the topic in a little more abstract way. For example, your portrait might be “red, white and blue” or “patriotism.” Have some fun along the way and be prepared to explain what you were thinking at the critique.

There are no restrictions on where you can take your photos other than it must be inside the district limits of Washington, D.C. And it must have been taken after 9:50 a.m., Friday, Oct. 21 and before 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. (Of course all laws still apply, so don’t go breakin’ laws. General ethical principles apply as well.)
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