Looking at the paintings I've posted this month you would never know my favorite subjects are people. The problem is getting a model and so photos are often used for reference. Here's the snap-shot I took of my grand-niece and used for this painting:
Often I will compose a painting and then take reference photos, or look up stuff on the 'net to get the specifics right. I seldom paint a photo in it's entirety, even if I took it, and never if I didn't.