There are many times people refer to photography as a lie. We manipulate the real world and turn it into something prettier, sometimes this is even faked with post production like photoshop.
I think a true portrait tells us who the person is, or at least part of who they are, not just what they look like. A portrait is to “Portray” someone, with intent to display their likeness, personality or even their mood. You should get a real insight into who they are on some level.
Personally I love portraits, I love bringing something out in someone and having it show in the images. I know I’m not alone as portraits have been around for centuries! Humans are curious creatures and we love to look at pictures and paintings of others and ourselves. Of all things we hold dear it is the photographs we have of our family and friends. This is why I love what I do, I get to create portraits, I just hope the people I create them for enjoy them as much as I do!