Photo by Pete.
A good portrait can tell many things abut a person by revealing her expression, the details in her surrounding environment and background, and by the design elements in the image. A close-up portrait can also tell a lot about a person, but it focuses on specific details to tell a story.
By leaving certain elements out of a frame, you can produce detail-orientated images with clear messages and interesting compositions. The close-up portrait is an ideal photography method for drawing attention only to what you want people to notice in an image. If your entire message can be told in your subject's eyes, then why include anything else in your frame? If you're most interested in the texture of someone's skin, instead, then move in close to capture the detail.
This quick tip is an extract from the Wiley title: Digital Macro & Close-Up Photography For Dummies by Thomas Clark. For more information on this book and other Wiley titles, visit Wiley's website.