Location Portrait Photographer
Portrait photographer for editorial & advertising in Warwickshire,West Midlands and the Cotswolds.
Location Portrait photographer
Environmental portrait photographer in Warwickshire.
Portrait photography on location is often referred to as Environmental portraiture, the photograph that results from a portrait photographer and their subject can be one of the strongest and most informative photographs as it communicates and informs the reader about the subject and their context. The chef in his kitchen maybe a reasonable example, but the chef may own the restaurant so maybe the front of house should be the environment to use as a backdrop. The farmer in a field with his livestock or an executive in his office, all valid as environment portraits, but do they tell the whole story?
Based in Warwickshire I am well located to photograph portraits of so many subjects, from Actors to Zoologists , for advertising, marketing and communications as well as PR and editorial. It has been at the core of my professional practice and it is certainly my favourite genre.
If I have a choice I would always try and photograph a person in an environment that adds to the communication. However it is not without challenges, to elevate an image and ensure it works may require additional lighting, certainly reflectors and maybe screen diffusers. In this day and age a portrait is often expected to be shot in seconds, a product of the smart phone ethos, but that is not a portrait, it maybe an image of the person in a location, but a portrait should be so much more.
Ideally I will have a brief and understand the reasons the portrait is been commissioned, where it shall be used and what is the final media. It is important that the subject allows enough time and that they are prepared, if I am photographing company staff for a website, I always suggest that the subjects are given a few days notice, so hair cuts and other such vanities are sorted, and that is not aimed at the females, but everyone. The clothes and especially the colours the subject wear is very important, usually the subject will be dressed for the role that they are been photographed for, but I do suggest a back up and when possible I shall use a hairstylist and makeup artist, even for a corporate portrait. Just a little more attention and modification does help and provides a better final result. Advertising and communication budgets may have fallen but a portrait maybe seen for many years and the most appropriate hairstyle and clothes will help, or to put it bluntly if the wrong size jacket, or badly styled hairstyle shall be there for all to see and critique for a very long time.
I do not want to take too long on a portrait, unless the subject is an actor or model the subject shall become bored and disinterested, so I try to plan my shoot, have a stand in or put myself in the location and produce a lighting test so the subject can just get into the ‘set’ and I can capture a selection of expressions and poses. It is usual that the end result is one image, the cover of the magazine, or the selected portrait on the annual report, but it is important to have choices, there are no rules, but instinct tells me when I have the shot and I shall stop then if the pressure of time is on, but I like to carry on, and then push for the unknown and often best image, when the session appears to be over and I can capture a more real subject.
The tricks of the trade are not secrets, its just careful planning, efficient execution and knowing when you have the image that is right for the brief.