Environmental Portraits

Environmental portraits are taken of people “on location,” or in a place where they feel comfortable. This place says something about who they are and provides extra information about the subject.


Get to know your subject

Before you select a location, interview your subject about their interests. By understanding your subject, you can create a more comfortable environment during the photo shoot.


Choosing a location

Make sure the location says something about your subject. It should add interest to the shot. Backgrounds can be distracting or beneficial to your subject. Ensure your location will complement your subject without dominating the portrait.



Subtle props can naturally fit into an environmental portrait and add to the overall feeling. Try to avoid anything that does not fit or distracts the attention of viewers.



Environmental portraits differ from candids because you pose your subject in a portrait. Dramatic poses can give a sense of style to your shot. Facial expressions should match the overall scene. For example, do not have an intense athlete pose with a big cheesy smile.


Information from:

Rowse, Darren. “Environmental Portraits – Digital Photography School.” Digital Photography School RSS. Digital Photography School, Web. 1 May 2014. <http://digital-photography-school.com/environmental-portraits/&gt;.


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