The July Challenge: A Portrait of You Without You in the Portrait

Now I think that our July challenge will be very different and quite interesting and it is all about YOU!
I am looking for a portrait of YOU but without YOU in the portrait!

So here is the deal. I was not clever enough to think this up myself but this is where I got the idea. This was featured on the Photojojo website and showed the project undertaken by an Italian photographer… Camilla Catrambone. Her photography is beautiful and imaginative in so many ways and I felt that this challenge would be a good one for us to try.

Be sure to visit Camilla’s website at:

Rather than being a photo about a family member, I want it to be about you! It will help us to get to know each other better and to know what is important in our lives.

Here are some tips when shooting your “portrait”…

Think long and hard about your background… color, texture, etc. You want it to look good and you might even think about buying a piece of fabric or finding something interesting but non-competitive to use. It should be simple and quite plain, and should not detract from the subject, imo.

Shoot from above in good light but not harsh light. Remember to keep the plane of your sensor parallel to your subject to get ALL in focus and adjust your f-stop accordingly. You may need to set up your portrait on the floor and stand over it or you may do it on a table and climb on a ladder or stepstool to shoot directly down. (Please don’t get hurt doing this challenge!!! We do not want
to add a cast to your portrait!)

This is a still life using objects that tell something about you. Rearrange them until you find them pleasing to look at. Be aware of color, lines, and composition. Be sure your background extends to the edge of your photo. If you shoot it and find it is out of focus… fix it! It must be sharp. Increase your f-stop for increased depth of field and sharpness or increase your iso to
give you a better shutterspeed for handholding. Write a little story to go with it about who you are and why you have chosen the things in your portrait and then ask yourself… “If a stranger looked at my portrait, would they have a better idea of who I am and what is important in my life?”

I was totally unprepared for how difficult this assignment would be and I was amazed at the variations on a theme that were sent my way. And isn’t that the wonderful thing about photography? We can approach a subject in so many different ways to tell a story.

We have seven entries at this point and if there are some lagging behind, you may still send your entries if you wish to do so as I begin posting these “portraits”.

6 thoughts on “The July Challenge: A Portrait of You Without You in the Portrait

  1. I Just found this blog and already love it.
    is it to late to post on the July Challenge? I’d love to participate and have a feeling I will be participating often lol.
    thank you for a great blog.

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