[Pics] Is a Portrait Still a Portrait Without a Face?

Shape is an eery black & white portrait series by French photographer Quentin Arnaud, who used low-key lighting to highlight the shape of his subject's heads while obscuring any definitive facial features. Let us know what you think.

via [PetPixel] [OrmsConnect]
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Daleon Listhrop's picture

Creepily amazing...

Carlo Parducho's picture

Not in my book. For me, a portrait is supposed to convey character, emotion. How does that happen without a face...or at least eyes and a mouth? Beats me.

Then again it's just semantics, right ^_^

Wow! That's an eerie effect! Still though, with the raid features mid-face missing completely (i.e. the nose, cheekbones, eyebrows) the finished effect would have to be at least part photoshoped, wouldn't it? The angles don't appear to be *that* drastic ....

I'm a HUGE fan of less-is-more, so I'm giving these photos 5-stars and two-thumbs-up! :)

Wonderful concept and perfectly executed. Well done.

These are amazing!

Claudio Hidalgo's picture

 if you can get the essence of the subject, it's a portrait

nice work!

Interesting concept. I appreciate creativity in lighting, therefore I greatly appreciate these images. However, I don't think I personally care for them. 

Mike Tarsitano's picture

I agree with you on this one... I dont care for them either 

Thanks for the article.
I'm working on identity. Think about it. 
Faceless people have identity. Watch them beyond the "eye-nose-mouth" usual recognition.
Thank you for the support again. Much appreciated.
Quearn (http://fb.me/quearnphotography)

Incredibly un-nerving.  Remind me of the kids without faces in The Wall.

Amazing! It takes away all the emotion and brings forth an empty shell of a person. 

I'm for it! when we were in studio in college we called this lighting set-up demon lighting because of the horns of light that were cast

Is it pretty similar to Arnold Newmans setup "Devil lighting"?


Fetching image ...

yeah exactly! that's where we got it from haha

Aaron Curtis's picture

Well executed. And, yes, a bit creepy. 

LOL! The more you stare at each photo the creepier it gets. (Alien like)
Great stuff.

por·trait  [pawr-trit, -treyt, pohr-]
noun1.a likeness of a person, especially of the face, as a painting,drawing, or photograph: a gallery of family portraits.It is still a likeness of a person, so yes it is a portrait. Do i like it? Well... hell yeah :)

Andrew Barros's picture

i like it alot. reminds me of the movie dick tracy with the man with no face, played by Madonna in a mask.


Mike Folden's picture

I don't know if it's a portrait but it's creative and I love it! 

Makes me think of the whole "We are anonymous" movement... Well executed, cool looking, but I don't think it will stick in my mind for a very long time. I don't know... maybe it'll grow on me.

Great concept and execution. Is a portrait a portrait without a face? Look at Albert Watson's photograph of Mike Tyson and then you'll know that yes it is!

Amazing idea and execution

wow this is a great idea for my A level photography project on hidden identity :DDD