A Portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer.
Orientation of head in 2-dimensional artwork
Profile view, full face view, and three-quarter view, are three common designations for portraits, each referring to a particular orientation of the head of the individual depicted. Such terms would tend to have greater applicability to two-dimensional artwork such as photography and painting than to three-dimensional artwork such as sculpture. In the case of three-dimensional artwork, the viewer can usually alter their orientation to the artwork by moving around it.
When the artist creates a portrait of him- or herself, it is called a self-portrait.
Portrait photography is a popular commercial industry all over the world. Many people enjoy having professionally made family portraits to hang in their homes, or special portraits to commemorate certain events, such as graduations or weddings. Since the dawn of photography, people have made portraits.
Beyond classical and photographic portraiture, a new type of character portraits, based on an inference approach and little known outside of the field of psychology, has recently appeared in North America, in Asia and in Europe. The principle of this new form of portraiture is that if a sufficiently high number of original drawings of a child—and eventually writings of an adult are available, this body of material may be used to decipher and portray the principal traits of character, the personality and the individual vision of the subject.