Portraits Without Faces – November Photo Challenge

A couple of weeks ago I came across this article on the BBC website, if you don’t have time to read it right now it’s an article titled “How your life story is told by your hands”. It features a set of black and white images by photographer Tim Booth which show people’s hands, some of them celebrities, some not.

I was inspired and disappointed at the same time by this article. Inspired because I loved the images, disappointed because I’ve photographed hands since the very first time I photographed people and have never once thought of collecting together all those hand images into one body of work!

Over on Facebook there’s a group for all the people that have signed up for the free course Beyond Snapshots, inspired by this article we have a photo challenge for November, “Portraits Without Faces”. Some people like to debate on this topic, is a portrait really a portrait if it doesn’t have a face? For me it most definitely is, a faceless portrait can say a lot about a person.

Self portrait, no face

Take this self portrait, what does it say about me?

I chose to stand in leaves because I love to be in the countryside, I’m wearing boots because I enjoy walking. I really don’t enjoy being in front of the camera so I’ve symbolised my discomfort by having what should be the main focus (my feet) out of focus.

The challenge in the group is to take a portrait without a face that tells us something about its subject. In reality the only people who truly know what the portrait says will be the person who took it and the subject.

And that is why I love portraits that don’t have faces, they trigger our imagination, we feel that there is a story we haven’t quite been told and whether it’s conscious or not our imaginations can run riot and fill in the details!

Here’s a couple more, fill in your own stories for these, I’m revealing nothing!!

Faceless Portrait

Equine Photographer, Bolton

If you’d like to join in with the photo challenge why not sign up for Beyond Snapshots and join the Facebook group? It’s a completely free course and you can find out more here.

Or Instagram is more your thing use the hashtag #dreamsnaps and give me a mention so I see it, I’m on Instagram as @definitely_dreaming – look forward to seeing your portraits !!