I have heard many people saying that being able to imitate a photography, by drawing, to the perfection, is "talent".
This comment always makes me jump. Anyone can draw exactly like an already existing picture. Itis a simple technique. Google it, I am sure there are many tutorials out there. Copying doesn't require much talent. It is just a question of a good eye for detail and a bit of patience.
What does take talent though, is the capacity of an artist to show with depth how much he/she/they knows of the person represented. It doesn't necessarily have to be about the life history of this person. It can be about the relation of the artist and the model, being one of love, of mystery, even of distance. It can be about the things the artist guesses about the model, imagines or has been told.
I am about to paint people that I haven't met (yet), who has sent me their picture. I could reproduce exactly just that, but what would I bring more to the world than the picture hasn't already had?
I will have to CREATE. I will have to paint on the paper the bridges that link the model to me. I will have to be an artist.