The faceless portrait. This is one of my favourite favourite types of portraits.
Not only does it have the huge benefit of not having to achieve the perfect smile, it doesn’t matter who is looking at the camera, who is picking their nose, even who is crying or sucking their dummy.
Yet, even without being able to see the subjects eyes, without being able to see their facial expression, or their smile, or their tears, so much emotion, so much of their story, can be told in a faceless portrait. Whether it is jumping puddles with Daddy. Dancing through the fields with your brother. Having leaf boat races in the rain. The joy, the anticipation, excitement and anxiety of waiting for a new baby to arrive. Childhood friendship. The overwhelming flood of emotion that comes with a new babies arrival and their tiny hand grasping your finger.
That is what I love about photography. It doesn’t have to be a traditional smiling portrait to tell a story.
Here are a few (or rather a lot) of my personal faceless portrait favourites – some from my family, and some from my client work. And just to mix it up, and show that sometimes the best camera is the one in your hand, I have thrown in a couple of shots from my iPhone. See if you can spot which one.