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Environmental Portrait examples

(download assignment as a MSWord doc.)

Final Product: Submit two "ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAIT" photos, and a contact sheet with a minimum of 30 images in the correct period#ENVIRON_PORTRAIT folder in the class server (206 teacher server).

Save each of your images in the 206 Teacher classroom photo server as:
p#yourlastname_envport3 (this will be your proof-sheet)


An environmental portrait is different from a "studio" or conventional style portrait. The environmental portrait describes the subject through the use of ENVIRONMENT (BACKGROUND) AND SYMBOLIC USE OF EXPRESSION, GESTURE, CLOTHING, and/or "PROP" in a set-up situation.

WHAT TO DO: Shoot a minimum of 30 images to create 2 amazing "environmental portraits" of your subject using interesting beautiful light, composition, interesting location & symbol used in a that tells the story of the subject. These portraits should incorporate both the environment and iconic props that tell us something about the person. DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH THEM PRETENDING TO DO THEIR "ACTIVITY." They are to be posing for the camera, not "pretending." That said, some of the best portraits are taken when the subject is NOT smiling and looking directly into the camera. Try many different expressions and positions and have the subject look into the camera and away from the camera. Also, watch for those in-between "natural" moments when the subject is not paying attention. All 30 images of your portrait session need to be of the same person.

Creativity! Shoot a lot! Be creative and experiment! Go beyond just fulfilling the technical requirements -have fun with this!

Rule of thirds: Use good rule of thirds composition by keeping the head of the subject away from the direct center of the image.

Focus: When using rule of thirds, remember to check the focus every time you take a photo, making sure the focus is on the subject's eyes, not front-focused on their prop or rear-focused on the background.

Background: Place your subject in an area with a consistent background. As you are shooting, look carefully to make sure there is nothing "growing" out of your subject's head, or a distracting bright light, or colored object in the background.

Shutter speed: If shooting indoors, use a tripod if shooting in dim light. If your shutter speed is 1/30th or slower, you may create unintentional blur when pushing the shutter button.