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Fancy Portraits and Lifestyle Photography

Updated on June 20, 2013
Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0
Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

Fancy Portrait is the term used when referring to a style of photography as well as in artistic paintings. This technique or style is used to photograph real people, usually models, that represent an individual or subject from the mind and imagination of the photographer or another person such as a writer.

This is very similar to cosplay photography, but unlike cosplay, a fancy portrait just involves the taking of an image. More formally; fancy portrait is more like a formal portraiture photograph but with the intent of representing an imaginary subject.

Popular subjects used to be politicians, comical figures, heroes, ancient gods. Today the sci-fi world is the most widely source of inspiration as is the Japanese Anime industry which is not far behind as well as many comic book publications.

If you have been to a museum and have gazed upon a painting by one of the many old masters, then you have seen a fancy portrait, assuming the painting was not of a real historical person. One of the best examples is Leonardo's Davinci's "Mona Lisa". Like the person in Leonardo's painting, it was a real person but one that assumed a persona other than her own for the purposes of being captured in paint.

Fancy portrait is the same, except the image is captured on film or a sensor. Lets say for example that you dress like the King of Neverland or the Empress of Waterworld during Halloween and a photographer asks you to pose for a photograph, to which you agree and the shot is taken, a fancy portrait was just done.

Many book publications as well as a host of other publications will use these types of shots in advertising campaigns. History book publishers have long been participants in this type of photography as have a large number of actors, and theater personalities. The difference between this style and others is the fact that with fancy portrait the subject is posed. There is no intention of acting or assuming a persona other than the one required for the photo. Easter, Halloween, Christmas, Fourth of July, St. Patrick's, Thanksgivings are all good opportunities to produce fancy portraits and astute photographers market this.

Lyfestyle photography is another technique which is sometimes confused along the lines of more trend setting living choices. Lifestyle photography is a photo style which aims to represent real life situations within a controlled setting. Like portrait photography, every aspect is controlled. The lighting has to be bright but not overpowering, the models are well dressed and groomed, the atmosphere has to be relaxed, in other words everything is arranged so that it appears to be as normal as possible.

This is an offshoot of product photography and marketing photography with people as its principal subjects. Marketing campaigns, advertising campaigns, product advertising, life style publications as well as many other industries use this style to promote their products, ideas and services.

There are however two schools of thought regarding lifestyle photography, the previously discussed and another which equates lifestyle with un-posed and unrehearsed style of photographing. Different mindsets yet similar in scope since both techniques aim is to photograph people doing everyday things.

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source


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      7 years ago

      Found some very interesting insights re this photography. Thanks rated up.


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