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Environmental portrait photographer

Environmental portrait photographer

environmental portrait photograph

What does it mean, to describe yourself as an environmental portrait photographer?

Quite simply, it means taking portraits outside a studio.  More specifically, it often means taking the portrait of the subject in their own surroundings, whether that’s their home or their place of work.  The idea behind it is that by being in such a familiar environment, they will be more at ease and this will come across in the final portrait.  It’s also possible that, by choosing the background carefully, the photographer can illuminate some aspect of the subject that might not be obvious in a shot taken in a studio, or against a plain background.

So, while there are some obvious skills that are common to both studio and environmental portraiture – such as control of lighting and building a rapport with the subject (THE most important skill, no matter who the subject is and where you’re taking the photo) – there are also skills that are unique to working in a range of environments.  Choosing the background, and what part(s) of it to include in the scene, for instance.  The ability to work in a wide range of places, working with different light sources (trying to balance indoor lighting with flash, for instance), or coping with adverse weather (the great outdoors is the natural environment of some people, after all).  All these skills need to be incorporated if you want to become a good environmental portrait photographer.

This recent shoot was for an existing client, MyPad Properties, who’ve featured on this blog before.  In the past I’ve shot property interiors for them but this brief was to shoot portraits of the Development Manager Chelsey.  We discussed different options for the shoot and agreed that some environmental portraits in the latest of their show houses would work best.  After all, her job is to sell them!

environmental portrait photographer Martin Hambleton shot of Chelsey Pollard

environmental portrait photo

environmental portrait Mypad Developments

If you’re into the technical stuff, these were shot with an Elinchrom Quadra equipped with a one metre Godox Octabox, which delivers beautifully soft light.  It’s my go-to modifier these days.  And you’ll see the exposure was chosen to balance the flash with the tungsten ambient in the room.  If you’re not into the technical stuff ……. sorry about this paragraph!

Everyone needs a good portrait these days, whether it’s for putting on their Linkedin page, PR or advertising material.  Give me a call or send me a message via the contact form to discuss your own requirements.