Portrait Inspiration – Beautiful Profiles

Meryl Streep by Herb Ritts

I hope you all had a peaceful weekend!

My Monday portrait inspiration is about one of my favourite portrait shots, the profile. Celebrating the wonderful shape of the face and celebrating strong noses.

 Barbra Streisand

I have forever been a fan of Barbra Streisand and I think she has one of the most beautiful profiles of all. I love the simplicity of this shot, her skin against the dark background and her wonderful nose.


Moulin Rouge Copyright Carla Coulson

When I took this shot at the Moulin Rouge of this beautiful dancer I photographed her from many different angles but this was the final shot I chose for Paris Tango. I adored her profile!

Photo by Paolo Roversi

The master Paolo Roversi is brilliant at ‘creating shapes’ with his portrait subjects and recognises a great profile when he sees one. So much going on in this pic and so strong thanks to the beautiful profile shot.

Audrey Hepburn

And any photo of Audrey Hepburn is a good photo but I do have to say that her profile photos are extraordinary. Her graceful neck, sweet little nose and wonderful energy makes this pic shine.

When photographing your subject have a close look at their profile, turn them side on and study.  I am sure you will find a little magic there!

Happy snapping

“A photograph is a portrait painted by the sun“. Unknown

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14 Responses to Portrait Inspiration – Beautiful Profiles

  1. Aconstantine says:

    Particularly loved this post Carla! Definate inspiration right there. Keen to try out this often forgotten angle! :)

  2. love LA Streep and LA Streisand!

  3. Anita Rivera says:

    I agree that Barbara Streisand is and was one of the most women; her nose is gorgeous and her eyes. Her skin as well made her a sight to behold but it is the photographer that has the skill and magic to capture JUST THE RIGHT PROFILE! Audrey is my all-time favorite. BONJOUR CARLA! Anita

  4. emily says:

    Hi Carla,
    What a great point. I photograph my little twins a lot, but never think of taking profile shoots. When I look back at older photos, I find the (accidental) profile ones the most interesting…I love Meryl S. pic by H Ritts. I like the way he “narrowed” the shoulders to make her neck look even longer.

  5. Catherine says:

    Beautiful portrait selection, Carla…I love Meryl Streep by Herb Ritts, stunning, elegant shot and the photo of Audrey so exquisite…is this by Steven Meisel?
    Have a great week.

  6. Looks like Meryl Streep has a nose on her forehead. I like it.

  7. Claudia Lane says:

    Gorgeous women and talented photographers make beautiful portraits…I love your selection Carla. I also love the quote at the end, it’s very poetical and inspirational. Cx

  8. Hi Carla, gorgeous selection of profile shots. The human body is so facinating to me… I can see elements of some of the worlds most beautiful sculptures- found in the Louvre perhaps, seeing things from different angles speaks of a diiferent emotion, like Rodin’s ‘thinking man” or ‘The embrace’ you may not see the facial expression or all of the eyes but you can tell if the person is even smiling on the inside, or reflective.. in love etc. I love how most of these shots are on a black backround making the subject shine and their skin appear to be porcelain. Truly beautiful Carla xxCorrina.

  9. Such gorgeous profiles – all of them. I love Meryl & Barbara with their aquiline noses – so poised and elegant! And the showgirl with all her finery sitting so quietly in the semi darkness. The Roversi shot with all its moodiness and of course Audrey with that neck that goes on forever… People show you their character front on but they truly reveal themselves in a profile I think…:) x

  10. christine says:

    oh carla thank you for sharing these portraits. i absolutely refuse to have a portrait taken as my profile is far from my best angle. i have a strong nose that i need to embrace like the wonderful meryl + barbara…
    is there ever a bad photo of audrey – i love her!! x

  11. Perfect pictures, thank you. Love those profile pictures

  12. Kate Hosford says:

    I LOVE these portraits, of some of my favorite women of all time! Thank you! Beautiful!

  13. LatteLisa says:

    These are all gorgeous!

  14. Aktifoto says:

    That Paolo Roversi has inspired me a bit. My photos lack that kind of deepness

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