If you are like most people you probably were thinking this post is going to be about photography in connection with some environmental issues, sustainability, global worming or the like. Not so.
The environmental portrait is a cousin of the studio portrait. Photographers can take pictures of a person in a studio setting or in ‘their environment’. I came across this term a while ago, and I didn’t know that’s what you call them.
There you go. It’s a fancy way of saying ‘photos in your home’ I guess. When I am discussing different shoot options with a potential client, I tend to talk about a ‘photo journalistic approach’, as in taking pictures while my subject is doing what they’re doing.
A studio setting can be a bit overwhelming for many people, they feel put ‘on the spot’, and they prefer to have me come to their home and take photos while they sit in their favourite chair, have a cup of tea, cut some flowers, read a book.
While I love the ability to fully focus on people’s faces in the studio setting, I do also love the photo journalistic approach aka environmental portrait. This is what I do at home all the time, after all. My family is very used to me having the camera out and taking photos while they are busy with something – or nothing for that matter. They’ve all heard me say ‘just because the light is great right now’ too many times.
Environmental portraits work well with clients that want to be photographed in their work place, artists for example.
Environmental portraits also work really well with children, as they don’t have to sit still, don’t have to be clean and nice and on their best behaviour. It could also be environmental portrait if we were to meet in the park and I take photos of the kids at the playground. I normally call this type of shoot ‘location shoot’, but there you go, maybe I have to rephrase in the future.
Have you heard of the environmental portrait before? Let me know, I am intrigued.
Attached is a photo montage of an environmental selfie, for a bit of fun.