Let's face it...there is a lot of imagery out there these days. In fact, we are almost bombarded by it. With cameras in phones, Facebook, television, advertising, billboard, catalogs, magazines, etc... it is everywhere! And, unbeknownst to so many of us, our tastes can be very influenced by the images we see. Because of the barage we endure, companies have to do MORE and MORE and MORE to get our attention. So, images have become LOUDER, more graphic, more "shocking", etc... Portraits, in turn, are going through a similar trend. You hear people say, "We aren't formal people, so our portraits need to be casual." Agreed! But "casual" doesn't have to mean bad locations, incorrect lighting and posing and poor choices of clothing.
I believe some of the best portraiture is SIMPLE. "Casual" can often be determined by an expression, clothing, prop, or location. However, despite today's trends, I still try to keep the focus on the SUBJECT. That's what I want to see first! And, there is a place for both formal, classic portraiture and casual portraiture. Either way, you want the portrait to stand the test of TIME.
This is a perfect example. It is more formal due to the fact she is wearing a dress and her expression is subdued. But, does it get your attention without SCREAMING? Yes! And, will it be as beautiful 30 years from now? Yes! Flip through art books or take a stroll through a museum. What do you still see on the walls? What do investors still clamor over? Beauty.