A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer (borrowed from Wikipedia).
Every photographer creates millions of portraits during his/her carrier in the photographic industry. Even if his main activity is taking pictures of beautiful landscapes or items for sale, he will never escape from pictures of people or animals. Anytime we take picture of a friend or even a little kitten, we create portrait and our aim is to show the emotions, behavior and situation in which we have found our model. If we want to take a portrait of a person, we have to engage with our model and convince him/her to look directly at us and show emotions and expressions. I know very well , that portraits with models not looking directly into camera lens work good as well and sometimes tell even more about our model. People’s hands are very important too. Depend on how are they positioned, they can create very active or thoughtful portrait. Anything that can help to enhance your portrait is a good idea. Just look around what can describe your model? Maybe a guitar if he is a musician or some books if he is a writer. Have fun taking pictures of people/animals! They are never the same! Once you catch a great portrait, you will be proud of it till the end.