Portrait photography is a broad subject that is divided in various types that professional photographers can choose from. Among the most interesting yet challenging form is environmental portrait photography.
Environmental portrait photography refers to taking photograph of a person in his/her natural environment – it can be a workplace, home or a favorite spot. An environment portrait usually features an individual’s personality and lifestyle. While it may seem to be an easy form of photography, in reality it is a hard one. It takes practice, study, effort and so much more to be a master in environmental portrait photography.
If you are a beginner photographer who is looking forward to learning how to improve your environmental shots, then here are some great ways to help you achieve this goal.
Know your subject
Since you are aiming to show your subject’s personality or lifestyle, you need to study first your subject so the photos will look more realistic. Talk to your client or model and ask questions that can help you determine what he or she is like. Photographers of DKH Photography always find time to know their new clients so they can plan better for the shoot.
Find a suitable location
Your environmental portrait will look better if you can find the right location that is suitable to your subject and your expected shots. If you ran out of ideas, go online and check websites of other professional photographers. You can also perform a research to know what is best the background for your subject. You can also ask your model for suggestions since your subject will most likely know what location can best represent what he/she is like.
Let your subject wear comfortable clothes
Allow your subject to wear clothes that he/she thinks will display his/her personality. Never dictate on what your subject should wear. If you do this, your subject will feel so much pressure thus affecting the outcome of your portraits.
You can provide suitable props for your client to use. Just make sure though that it won’t distract the viewer’s attention and the focus still remains on the subject.
Take candid shots
You have to make your subject/s feel relaxed so they can give you their best and most natural smiles during the pictorial. Your photos will look better if their smiles and movements look natural and not stiff. Environmental portraits look good when you take candid shots of your client in his/her own environment instead of making him/her pose or smile at the camera. You can shoot some posed shots but make sure you get some really natural-looking candid pictures.
Observe the light
Like in landscape and other forms of photography, observing the availability of light is important. Try to visit the location before the schedule photo shoot so you will know if the light is too much or lacking on that specific hour. If the photo shoot is outdoors, suggest to your client to have the shoot later afternoon around 4 to 5pm so the natural light from the sun is just right.
By keeping these 5 tips in mind, you can produce better environmental portraits and later on become a master in environmental portrait photography.