As much as I love pictures and photo portraits, I adore custom painted portraits. I don't know, there's surely a pinch of narcissism in this, but I always thought a portait is not only a perfect way to remember but also something that shows the real inner self of a person, a personal interpretation of both exteriority and essence (ever read La Chambre Claire?).
Before studying cinema, I went to the Art School and I remember those drawing classes where we students have to pose for portaits. Every week one of us had to stand in the center of the room (not naked of course, but I assure you it was often embarassing and I always had the craziest poses, like that time when I had to stand holding a big guitare!), surrounded by people looking at you, trying to capture your nature - or at least to make a good sketch! Although we were still so young, most of us already had a personal style and the portraits looked so interesting, sometimes funny, sometimes intense but always showing a personal point of view.
Last year I stumbled upon the work of Amanda Blake, a professional oil painter from Portland, Oregon. Look at them and you'll can easily understand why I love her paintings so much
She says she's obsessed with the colors of faded Polaroids. I think there's nothing more poetic than a faded Polaroid.
Find Amanda Blake on Etsy and on Flickr (take a look at the Little People Blocks set, I adore those ones).