What is a Moving Portrait?

Well, that’s a good question! A moving portrait could also be called a “portrait film”.

You know how a portrait is an image of a person? Right. So, a “moving portrait” is the video version of that. It’s a video portrait of someone. It’s that person looking at the camera or looking somewhere else, doing something or doing nothing at all. But that’s not all. My moving portraits are a bit more than that even. I’m adding another layer through audio, which is usually some sort of interview or talking to give another dimension to the storytelling aspect.

The result of a moving portrait is very different every time due to the brief or the idea behind it.
Let me show you some examples.

Example 1 – video profile

This is a video I produced for the University of Sussex Students’ Union. The brief was to produce video profiles of the six newly-elected SU officers. I interviewed them all via email to get an idea of who they are and what they do and then created a storyline from that. The interview was audio-only. I then recorded some footage of the officers on campus, doing their thing. This is a more corporate version of a “moving portrait” I’d say but it’s about portraying a person through audio and video.

Example 2 – birthday message

My second example is birthday video I made for my boyfriend. I interviewed his daughters and asked them some questions about him. Later that day we went out to take a few family photos of them together and I sneakily took some video clips as well. He had no idea what I was doing. In the end, I edited it all together and made him probably the best birthday present I will ever manage to give him. Way to set the bar high for future birthdays!

Example 3 – "Long Portrait"

The last example is a video from my personal project “long portrait”.
A long portrait is an extended version of a portrait, lasting way more than a fracture of a second, and is intended to show more of the true person behind the face itself.

The idea is to imitate the “portrait” aspect of a photo by having my subject look at the camera for 2 minutes or more. It’s quite an intense experience. When you look at the camera to have your photo taken, you try to project what you want the viewer to see. You put your best face on, so to speak. But you won’t be able to hold this for more than a few seconds. After a while, your face relaxes and shows micro-expressions that cannot be captured in a photo.

To add some more depth to the film, I add snippets from an interview I do with my subjects. The idea is to produce something that is real, raw and “in the moment”. This example is another version of what could count as a “moving portrait”.

Visit my "Long Portrait" Portfolio

Interested in getting your own?

With these three examples, I hope it’s clear that a “moving portrait” can be anything that contains video (and audio). The production can take hours or days. Or even weeks. It’s up to the idea, the brief, the purpose.

I offer video as an add-on to my photography services or you could request to have a film like the ones above made on its own. If you’re interested in creating something like the above with me, let’s have a chat and work something out. It could be about you or about someone else but initiated by you. Anything is possible.

get in touch to find out more