A portrait is, or at least it should be, an artistic representation of a person in which the photographer conveys something of the character, personality and mood of the subject. The person doesn't have to be a raging beauty or even have a particularly photogenic face to enable a skilled photographer to create a beautiful portrait. The secret is in the understanding of light, shadow, texture and making a connection with the subject, with the last point being the most important factor. It's very hard to convey a person's personality and sense of mood unless photographer and subject connect.
Why is it that actors and actresses, singers, musicians, authors and professionals the world over choose photographers who posses the necessary skills to create a quality image? Quite simply it’s because they want to be portrayed in a realistic and artistic manner and for the image to convey something of their ‘essence’. Realistic doesn’t mean boring or old fashioned at all and some of the most stunning portraits have been created using time honoured techniques, which are as relevant today as they ever were. An image is not about the technology employed, it’s about seeing beyond the visible and using whatever techniques work best with the person you are working with.
A great portrait is priceless and within this fast changing world there are plenty of people who want, even demand, the very best skills from a photographer. Machine gun imaging can remain the preserve of the idiot high street studio camera operator and those who are daft enough to pay for over priced and cheaply produced prints. At the end of the day quality and style will always win over quantity and gimmicks. There will always be enough room, and an ever expanding market, for photographers who stick out for quality and style and can look their subject in the eye knowing they are giving their very best.