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(da: Rognoni Roberto, "Ritratto: la ricerca dell'espressione", in Tutti fotografi, October 2001 - PDF VErsion)

Portrait, together with landscape, is the most practised subject by amateur photographers.

Relatives are the first “victims” of this photographer. Family album’s images have a great importance to family history. These photos tell the traditional stages of life, births, loves, ceremonies and various events to hand down for “posterity”.

Therefore, these images, which at first sight might seem banal, must be done with care to be significant outside those intimately involved and have a documentary value for future generations.


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Expressive values and meanings

I like to begin this chapter with the definition of the portrait, which Renzo Chini writes in his book (Renzo Chini, Il linguaggio fotografico, ed. SEI):

“The portrait is an expression of a person by means of his image. Therefore the portrait, taking care of the person, who is a fundamentally a unity of thought, feeling and action, is always a psychological portrait, otherwise the human figure would be reduced to the level of a bottle or a couple of eggs…”

If the subject and his photographer want to go out of a purely aesthetic description, they must choose themselves, and build up together, a representation, which communicates the person’s characteristics to the observer.

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