Saving Face


I love the deep wisdom and layered meaning in small sayings and expressions.

Saving face means to preserve a person’s dignity and allow them to retain their inner sense of respect and character in spite of a challenge or failure. It’s an expression of respect for one’s inner being rather than an emphasis on one’s outward ability, performance or value to the group.

In portraiture this saying has another layer of meaning. It refers to creating an image where the likeness of the face is not a photographic replica, but rather an expression of inner characteristics. Character traits like strength and dignity are conveyed in the features and expressions of the face itself.

Consider this portrait. Eran’s face is full of subtlety and his features express his inner character and emotional state. It is quite challenging to find just the right kind of balance – yet this is essential for capturing his inner qualities and saving his face.

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