Picture of the vampire or picture of the man?

Just ran across some rockin’ portrait photos of actor Robert Pattinson (best known for his role as Edward the Vampire in the movie Twilight, although I am proud to say that I recognized him from one of the Harry Potter films before he became famous as the perfect undead boyfriend). Below is one of five published photos taken for GQ Magazine by Nathaniel Goldberg.

I LOVE Goldberg’s focus, the lighting, his choice of black and white versus color for this shot, and especially the shape of Pattinson’s hair. SO awesome. The image is similar to my vision of what I want to achieve with my portraiture – anyone out there up for a practice shoot?

My thoughts: Pattinson is one of those people that can look very intriguing and handsome or very unkempt and unattractive depending upon the way that he is shot by a photographer. There isn’t a consistent “oh, he’s so good-looking” feel to the images created of him, nor is there a consistent “ugh, not so much” feel. I attribute his perceived handsomeness to the skill and aim of the photographer…and the amount of facial hair that Pattinson is sporting on any given day.

BHBlog_Robert Pattinson

My question to you, my reader, is – would you rather have a photographer capture you “as is” – freckles, crooked nose, or pointy chin and all – or would you rather have him/her capture you as ideally as possible – soft light, angled in a way that hides your nose or chin? Is the absolute real more beautiful than the idealized? Modern photography trends easily go either way. Let me know what you think!


  1. Amberdawn March 12, 2009

    Sometimes the softer ones can be really beautiful and still capture the essence of the person. Sometimes they make the person look completely different, I don’t like those. The more realistic ones, I usually like better, but some people (like myself) feel that making themselves “softer” makes the picture easier on the eyes. So the trick would be to take a softer photo with the person’s essence, if you will, still shining through.

  2. shane rocket March 23, 2009

    all the natural- no lighting tricks or softness.