by Haleigh Olthof, Illiana journalism student
LANSING, Ill. (January 2018) – At the end of the portrait unit during each semester of Ms. Deb Kamp’s photography class, students complete a “faceless portrait” assignment. This year, Christian Schools International (CSI) posted an article and a gallery of these portraits on its website.
A CSI representative discovered an Illiana Facebook post about the project and contacted Kamp to write the article. Kamp defined a faceless portrait as “a collection of meaningful and personal items that identify a person without actually showing the person’s face.” CSI published the article with a gallery of eight of the faceless portraits made by past and present students.
One of these students, senior Lauren McClain, created a faceless portrait of her father, who died when she was seven, because she wanted a reminder of him that wasn’t a picture of him. “Usually when I look at pictures of him, I get really emotional since that was a really bad time in my life.” In the portrait, McClain included a record from her father’s large collection, a jacket that he gave her mother before leaving on a business trip, and a camera that he used to photograph buildings as inspiration for his own building projects. She also included a handbook for freelance writers because her father was a writer.
Another photography student, junior Emma Miedema, used her photo to represent her younger sister, Josie. Among the items Miedema arranged is a pair of “scuffed up pink cowboy boots,” which she included because Josie is a “fashionista.” Also in the photo is a math flash card on which Josie erased and rewrote answers as she learned addition.
Other photos of Faceless Portraits by Illiana students can be found on Illiana’s Facebook page:
Illiana Christian High School is located at 2261 Indiana Avenue in Lansing.