A timeless portrait is a photo that will age in reverse… get better with time.
- Human emotions: Technology will always change, but human emotions will always remain. Fear, disgust, pain, suffering, curiosity, joy.
- Monochrome: Black and white ages better than color photos. Why? Post processing, filters, and color “looks” change with time. High contrast color, high saturation color, muted colors— all different trends in color photography. Black and white is more consistent over time. Also, a monochrome print is less likely to fade over time, compared to a color photo.
- Simple: Simple photos are more timeless. A photo that doesn’t try too hard to be clever. For example, stick with pretty simple lenses, without any weird effects.
- Geometry, shapes, composition: Dynamic portraits have movement, different perspectives of the face, people jumping up and down. Photos that feel alive! Photos that make you want to dance. Photos that make you more excited to live.
- Not cheesy: Photos of people just smiling, and posing for the camera will not be timeless. You want something deeper about their psyche, how they see the world. You want more RAW EMOTIONS. With the camera, you want to peel away the layers of their onion. You want the camera to REVEAL THEIR SOUL. You want “emotional layers” in your photos.
Photos by Richard Avedon, traces by ERIC KIM with iPad and Procreate app.