Portraits try to evoke an understanding between the viewer and the person being photographed. Or at least that’s what the photographer is trying to do most of the time. Other times, he’s just trying to make the subject pretty, but that’s a different kind of portraiture…
When you look at a portrait (taken in the first school of thought,) you wonder what the person in the photograph is like in character… are they serious, jovial, nutty or geeky? Apart from their usual outlook, what other emotions are they likely to face on a daily basis? These are the questions that a strong portrait makes people think about; and hopefully find answers to.
Now, Environmental Portraits introduce an exciting factor into portrait photography. You guessed it, you dawg, it introduces the viewer to the subject’s (sitter) environment. Big words? Ok. Its a picture of a person in a place that has some connection with whom they are and what they do… So, instead of just the person being the subject of the photograph, elements of the surrounding area become part of that subject too.