Portraits vs. Pictures

What does a photographer do? If you ask most people they will tell you that a photographer takes pictures. They aren't wrong, but at the same time they also aren't quite right. Cameras take pictures. Photographers operate cameras. Seems like it should be straightforward, huh? Today I'd like to take a moment to talk a little bit about the difference between portraits and pictures.

By definition a picture is a likeness of a person or thing. That's a broad generalization, but it's functionally true. Paintings can be pictures. Those precious crayon drawings our little ones make of their family and we put on the fridge are pictures. Most of us take countless pictures every day with our phones. It’s a fun, quick way to catch a moment. Portraits, however, are a little deeper. They're still the likeness of a person, but there is something more artistic to it, something that focuses on the face and expression of the subject.


Pictures are an image. Portraits capture who we are.

When I am working with a client I take the time to talk to them before I pick up my camera. I want to know about their lives, what they like, what they are planning to do with the images we create. A client needing a new head shot has a specific story to tell with the image while a new mom taking portraits with her infant has an entirely different message. My job as a photographer is to take the stories and messages my clients want to share and use the picture as a canvas on which they are told. Pictures are taken. Portraits are made.

Portraits are beautiful, precious pieces of art that don't just capture a moment and make it still. Portraits capture who we are. When is the last time you had a portrait made? Book your session today.