Portrait Ideas and Assignments
Portrait photography Amsterdam

Are you looking for some portrait ideas? Feel free to use these photography assignments that are part of my Photography Masterclasses. My presentation is on the bottom of this page.

You can choose to work on all these portrait ideas if you enjoy them and if you have enough time. As part of the Masterclass Portrait Photography, you can submit the results of the assignments to me for your personal review.

5 Portrait Ideas – just choose 1

assignment 1

Find a few old childhood photos of yourself or a friend and re-create the photos with the same person. For this portrait assignment it is important to make sure you mimic as many details as possible.

Edit your photo to mimic the look of the old one.

Send 4-6 sets (the old and your new photo).

assignment 2

This assignment is inspired by the style of Cindy Sherman. Cindy Sherman is a contemporary photographer who makes self-portrait to show different stereotypes of women.

For this project you can use a model, but you can also choose to make self-portraits. Make 4 to 6 photos in which you show different stereotypical roles you play in your life.

Think of stereotypical roles like:

  • driving a car
  • with your siblings
  • with your parents
  • at the gasstation
  • in the supermarket
  • on the beach

No matter who you are, in different situations we react different to our surroundings, show us who you are in these different situations.

assignment 3

This assignment can be done with a smartphone and might look easy to do by just making snapshots during your day. There can be a lot of fun in following yourself in your daily life. But you still have to think about making and interesting serie.

Take at least 10 to 20 photos that illustrate your average day. You may decide how to portray yourself in this, but be creative and be noticed.

The most important in this serie is to be consistant in your approach.

assignment 4

Play around with the effect that fracturing an image or shooting it in a reflective or distorted surface has.

Make 6 images where this technique improves the basic photo. Use the three different techniques at least once.

Fractured – Make a (self) portrait, print them out and then cut/glue to collage it into a new, fractured image and photograph it.

Reflected – Make a creative portrait using reflections from different surfaces.

Distorted – Do anything you want that will change the way person appears.

Send the ‘normal’ photo and the edited photo if possible.

assignment 5

Create 6 classical portraits of one person. Each portrait needs be clearly different by playing with the possibilities of;

  • hard or soft light
  • key light, fill light, back light
  • axis, rembrandt, contour, edge light
  • available, practical of motivated light
  • aperture, shutter speed, iso

The photos in the presentation are not made by me, but are examples to give you an idea of the possibilities.

More portrait ideas

If you have more portrait ideas, assignments or any other suggestions, feel free to contact me.

Portrait Ideas
model : Jillis Roshanali