Portraiture Project


For this project our basic objective was to locate and photograph people/citizens of Leeds and find out something about them in the process. My natural incentive was to look for someone who was dressed uniquely, carrying out some sort of activity which seemed interesting or of course someone who seemed like an intriguing person to approach. After this we showed our findings to our class and from the photograph portrait we were challenged to speculate on this person’s life or habits through their demeanour portrayed in the image.


Amusingly, this man I did not approach as he seemed to be in no state to talk. He was wandering aimlessly around a square in Leeds, and I was waiting for the best opportunity to photograph him. After he finally slumped down into this bench I snapped him quickly. Although maybe a simple conclusion to his behaviour shown through the photograph would be that he had been tired or had a rough night prior, a lot of other connotations or questions can be raised about why he was they way is here. Maybe he’d been through a recent break-up or had heard some devastating news…


This man simply enough was just perched on a wall smoking an e-cigarette. He seemed quite awkward asked to be photographed, suggested through his erratic hand gesture here. He told me he was on a quick break from work and I needed to take it fast. Maybe he was implying he didn’t want to be photographed, but was being polite.


This man was working in a vintage shop and was quite happy for me to photograph him (as clearly shown by his beaming grin). Though when asked something about himself he seemed a bit more flustered and awkwardly said with a forced chuckle that ‘my name’s _, and I work at this vintage store. By this point I thought that it goes to show however so-operative someone may seem there’s always a chance he may not feel the same way as he appears on the surface. I thought to leave it there and not bother asking him more, he was working after all.


This person was a particularly interesting case. I saw him wandering quite leisurely (and awkwardly) up the street and so asked him for a photo. He didn’t say a word and just stood there. At first I was hesitant as it didn’t seem that he gave me permission. However when he brought is cigarette up to his mouth I decided I should just do it. Afterwards he just nodded at me and interestingly wandered back down the way he came. I thought it was possible that he knew we were taking photographs for a project already (maybe someone else in my class had asked him already) and was putting on an intriguing front to make his character seem that of more alluring to document.


This woman was also quite silent during the process. She hardly made eye contact and mumbled most of her words, then when I brought the camera up he attempted to pose slightly. There’s a deal of awkwardness in her pose as well, with quite a docile, vulnerable position suggesting a lack of confidence. However through her appearance (the hectic yet nice maroon coloured hair) suggested she was trying to seem more of a fun or confident person.



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