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Illiana photography students create ‘faceless portraits’

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.

Faceless portrait
Faceless portrait by Illiana photography student Lauren McClain
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.

Faceless portrait
Faceless Portrait by Illiana photography student Emma Miedema
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.


The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal publishes news releases from state, county, and local officials who provide information that impacts local community life. The particular contributor of each post is indicated in the byline.