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Photo Project: Environmental Portraits

Welcome to the Beyond Photo Tips Photo Project: Environmental Portraits. In this post we are going to look at what portraiture aims to do, and have an overview of what Environmental Portraits are, and how you can get started off with Environmental Portraits.

What Are Portraits?

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.

When you look at a portrait 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.

Environmental Portraits

Girl in field (spring)
by Katrijn Michiels

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.

Why is this sooo interesting? Because it helps the viewer understand a bit more about the sitter. If the sitter is an engineer who works on houses, posing the them at their work location helps… or maybe posing the sitter at a table with blueprints would work…

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