Environmental Portraits in Birmingham, Solihull and the West Midlands
Environmental portraits typically show the subject in their natural environment. They are different from traditional portraits in that they tend to show more of the character of the subject, rather than just the subject in front of a neutral background. Most people, unless they are professional models tend to stiffen up in front of the camera. Because your subject is in his or her natural environment, they tend to be more relaxed, resulting in better facial expressions and body language.
Environmental portraiture is the practice of capturing an image of someone in their natural environment; this could be where they work, live or perhaps even where they like to unwind.
Environmental portraits, sometimes referred to as workplace portraits, are images that show a subject in their workplace, usually undertaking their profession. These are different from your typical corporate portraits in that they generally show the person doing their work in the typical environment where this takes place, as opposed to just a plain headshot. Environmental portraiture is also very different from lifestyle portraits, which usually aim to capture people doing everyday tasks in their everyday environments.
Environmental portrait photography uses the background of the image and the pose to tell something about the subject. For example, you might show a chef in their kitchen. Or you could photograph a ballet dancer in the studio. But it doesn't just have to be where they work, live or play, it can be any place that interests a subject or tells their story. You might use an unknown location and lighting to provide context about the subject in the image, showing the viewer their personality and lifestyle.
An environmental portrait is a portrait executed in the subject's usual environment, for example their home or workplace, and typically illuminates the subject's life and surroundings. The term is most frequently used of a genre of photography.
Two good rules of thumb when attempting to photograph people in their surroundings:
1. "Half of all location photography is moving furniture."
2. "'Available light' means any light that's available."
Both sayings have been attributed to the great location portraitist Arnold Newman. More importantly, each can help spell the difference between a good environmental portrait and a great one.
Environmental portraiture, or environmental portrait photography , is the practice of taking a photo of a person shown in their natural environment. In other words, you will not be using a blank or a white and/or neutral background for shooting the portrait.
As in the example given earlier, the subject will be shown surrounded by objects or symbols that you can relate with their natural environment. For a teacher, it can be a shot inside the classroom while they talk to their students. For a dancer, it can be a dance or ballet studio during a show or rehearsals. A politician can be depicted as an influential person by taking a photo of them inside their office, with books (or journals, or whatever you call them) or papers (bills or laws they passed).
Since your subject is in their natural environment, they will feel more relaxed and confident. There will be less (or none at all) stiffness once the camera clicks. It’s as natural as natural can get. When you do environmental portrait photography, you veer away from studio shots.
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