You cannot make a profile portrait of every sitter. Very few have features so finely chiselled and so well proportioned that they will stand the test of being shown up in outline.

Some sitters do not know this. They take a fancy to a specimen profile portrait and immediately decide to be photographed in the same pose. It requires tact and diplomacy to dissuade them and to get them to leave the final posing to the operator.

There must be something specially attractive in the profile view. From an artistic point it undoubtedly gives plenty of scope to the operator. Broader masses of light and shade can be secured than in the usual front view. There is more hair shown and this forms a valuable shadow against which the half-tone of the face tells very effectively. Then, if a hat is worn, the broadside view of the brim gives a graceful sweeping line.

But the chief attraction lies in the fact that it awakens curiosity. When you look at the profile of a beautiful woman, or of a man with a strong and interesting personality, you immediately want to get a glimpse of the full face. You want a more satisfying view - you feel that half the beauty and half the character are concealed.

That is why the profile generally fails to satisfy as a likeness. It is more limited in expression than a full-face or three-quarter view. There is not much chance of revealing character by the expression of the eyes and mouth. Moreover, friends are apt to be more familiar with the features of a face as seen from the front than from the side.

Because of this defect in the profile portrait - because it hides so much - it is very flattering to some sitters. There are faces with clear-cut, well-proportioned outlines, but sadly lacking in expression. These, of course, make quite pleasing pictures in profile. Then again, where the features of a face are well-rounded, and inclined to be a trifle heavy, the profile view, with the head slightly tilted, has a certain amount of grace.

When a sitter, whose face is not specially adapted for it, is really anxious to have a profile portrait, slight defects in the outline may be hidden by a little artful dodging in arranging the pose. For instance, a receding chin is no drawback if it is resting on the hand. Hair can be arranged to hide or subdue a receding forehead.

In all profile views, however, the most important point is to see that the direction of the eyes is in keeping with the pose of the head. The head may be tilted, it may be perfectly straight or it may be lowered. In any of these poses the eyes must look in the same direction as the face; otherwise some unusual or undesirable feeling will be expressed. This, of course is very useful when photographing actors and actresses as different characters, but it is unsuited to ordinary portraiture where natural likeness is aimed at.

Carefully posed profile portraits make charming pictures, but do not forget that they lose their interest sooner than the portrait which shows the eyes and mouth.