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[Detail] Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald by Carl Van Vechten


Students can also explore questions of authorship by making their own photographic portraits. Have them decide who they want to make a portrait of and why. Do they want to record a person's appearance for posterity's sake, or do they want to convey something in particular about the person? How does a photographer make his or her portrait express the qualities or essence of an individual that are invisible? Students may want to take a whole roll of film of the same person, or they may want to try photographing a variety of people. The class can share their portraits with each other and with others by displaying them in an exhibition. Ask each student to choose one picture and to write a brief paragraph about it with the artist's name, and a title and date, to accompany the photograph on the wall.