Tips on how to Create Environmental Portraits (Tips and Examples)

Tips on how to Create Environmental Portraits (Tips and Examples)

how to create environmental portraits

Are you looking to capture stunning environment portraits?

You’ve come to the right location.

In this post, I’m going to share everything you need to know about environmental portrait photography.

And by the time you are finished, you’ll be ready to produce some beautiful portraits of your!

Let’s get started.

What is an environmental portrait?

An environmental portrait is really a photo taken of a person in a place that says something about who they are. It is often a place where they function, rest, or play.

environmental portrait woman behind counter

Why should i prefer environmental portraits?

Environmental portrait digital photography:

  • offers context to the subject you are photographing
  • provides additional points of interest to compositions (though this is something you need to watch, as you don’t want to distract from your subject as well much)
  • helps the subject relax
  • often gives the viewer true insight into the personality plus lifestyle of your subject

Environmental portraits sit somewhere between the purposely posed shots of a studio portrait (environmental portraits are posed and are unmistakably portraits) and genuine shots , which catch people almost incidentally because they go about their daily life.

Now let’s turn our attention to some how-to tips for stunning environmental portraits:

Tips for beautiful environmental portrait photography

Capturing gorgeous environmental portraits can seem tough.

But there are actually a few easy ways to enhance your portrait photos, starting with:

Spend some time getting to know your subject

man under archway

Before you select a location and start capturing, spend some time getting to know your subject matter.

Find out where they spend their own time, what the rhythm of the life is like, and how these people behave.

This will not only help you find appropriate locations but will also help you get a feel for the type of shots that might be appropriate for the session.

In addition, you’ll begin the process of assisting your subject relax! If you possibly can, you might even want to go with your subject to some probable locations; that way, you can see each whether the location suits them, as well as how they behave and interact there.

Choose the right location

Sometimes a location chooses you – but on other occasions, you need to be very deliberate and purposeful when making your choice. It can take a lot of searching.

A person ideally want to find an area that:

  • says something regarding your subject . After all, that’s what this style of pictures is all about.
  • adds interest to the chance . As I’ve composed in previous tutorials, every element in an image can add or even detract from the overall look. The environment in which you place your issue needs to provide context and interest without overwhelming the composition.
  • doesn’t dominate the chance . Sometimes the location can dominate the image so much that it distracts your viewer out of your main focal point (i. electronic., the subject). So stay away from cluttered backgrounds (and foregrounds) and colors that are as well bright, etc . Keep in mind that you could be able to remove the distractions along with clever cropping, depth of field , and subject placement.

Use stage sets naturally

man with computer environmental portrait

Props can make or break a good environmental portrait.

If your props are usually subtle and naturally fit into the environment, then they can be very appropriate and add to the image effectively.

But you’ll want to avoid any stage sets that don’t quite fit or that distract the viewer.

Exactly the same goes for the clothes that your subject wears. Try to be faithful to the context without obtaining too outlandish.

Think about posing your own subject

environmental portrait of woman painting

What sets an environmental portrait apart from a genuine portrait is that you pose your subject .

(In reality, it’s a fine line between candid portraits and environmental portraits; you might end up doing a bit of both in any given take. )

Do not be afraid to direct your own subject to sit, stand, or even act in a way that fits environmental surroundings. Some of the poses might seem somewhat unnatural and dramatic, yet it’s often these intentionally posed shots that are more interesting and give a sense of design to your photography.

The expression in the face of your subject is also very important in environmental picture taking, and you should consider how this fits with the overall scene.

For example , if you’re shooting in a formal environment, it may not be appropriate to photograph your subject using a big, cheesy smile; you may prefer a more somber or even serious look.

Ultimately, just mix it up to see what does plus doesn’t work!

Deliberately choose your digital camera settings (especially your aperture! )

women laughing

There is no right or incorrect way to set up your camera for an environmental portrait. It will eventually depend completely upon the result you’re after and the shooting scenario.

You might find that shooting at a smaller aperture (i. e., a larger f-number) will be suitable as it’ll help keep the particular foreground and background inside focus.

I generally shoot environmental portraits with a wider focal length to give the environment prominence in the shot.

Of course , that does not mean you can’t shoot having a longer lens or having a large aperture and superficial depth of field. Eventually, anything goes – plus, you’ll probably want to combine up your shots a little.

How to photograph environmental portraits: conclusion

Environmental portrait photography is a superb way to create unique plus beautiful images.

So the next time you’re carrying out portrait photography, try applying some of these tips.

You’ll love the results!

Now over to a person:

Have you ever done any environmental portrait photography? What tips could you give other readers? Feel free to share your tips (and images! ) in the remarks below.

environmental portrait man with painting

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