Recently the photography students at Illiana Christian High in Lansing, Illinois, created faceless portraits: a collection of meaningful and personal items that identify a person without actually showing the person’s face. “In the day of never ending selfies, it’s nice to just turn the camera around,” said Deb Kamp, the instructor for the course.
Some students elected to do self-portraits, while others chose to portray loved ones, either here on earth or in heaven. “The goal is being able to tell a story,” said Kamp. “The student collects personal items and composes them in a way that draws in the viewer. Using electronic display, the students present their image to the class, explaining not only why they chose the items but also what the person has meant to them.”
Kamp notes that many times the student artist will print the image and frame it, then present it as a gift that has “much meaning and is often accompanied by tears of joy.”
The faceless portraits are part of a unit on portraits taught during the one-semester photography elective. The unit also includes photographing classmates and family.
Faceless portrait gallery