What is a portrait? According to Wikipedia it 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 […] A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer.”

What happens if we take a different, more creative approach and don’t show the sitter’s face? Can you think of other ways to describe a persons identity and character, their soul and spirit? Think of their individual body language and gestures, a specific part of their body that represents them best or the uniqueness of their friction ridges (yes, we had to look that up, they’re what make a fingerprint).

This month’s challenge is to produce a portrait of a person without showing their face. Think outside the box and come up with alternative ways to describing their personality.

Write a short caption that describes why you have photographed this particular moment, what it means to you and why you have photographed it in this specific way.

To be shot and submitted between 1 – 31 January 2017. Submission deadline is 31 January 2017 23:59 UK Time. The winner will be announced on 5 February 2017 together with the theme of new challenge.

Tips and Inspirations:

Check out Jen Davies intimate and beautiful self-portraits in which she deals with her “insecurities about my body image and the direct correlation between self-perception and the way one is perceived by others.” In many of her portraits she conceals her face and focuses on her body.

Irving Penn takes a very different approach in his photograph “The Hand of Miles Davis, New York”, shot in 1986. Simple, straight forward with lighting that accentuates every detail, this image is a masterpiece 80s black and white photography.

The winner of this Challenge is Ania Flaszczynska

“It is not an easy task to describe someone’s personality without showing one’s face and this image achieves this in an amazing way. We felt we learned so much about this person through the unique pattern and pose, it is beautiful and intimate at the same time.”

Submission Deadline

31 January 2017, 23:59 UK Time

  • All submitted images will be assessed on the basis of creativity, technical quality and coherence with the theme
  • Save your image as JPG with 3000px on the long edge and highest image quality setting
  • Submit a short 3 line text you want to publish together with your image that describes you idea
  • Submission is limited to one image per photographer and monthly challenge
  • You must sign up for the LIoP Challenge in order to submit your image
  • Submission deadline is 31 January 2017, 23:59 UK Time.