Environmental portrait needs to explore possibilities

When you get hired to shoot an environmental portrait the client will enjoy seeing choices. This is even more important with designers.

Some of the variations you give to the client are only you moving to the left or right to compose the photo from a slightly different angle.

For this environmental portrait I am wanting to show the subject works at Chick-fil-A corporate headquarters in Atlanta, GA. So I am using this logo as the way to help establish his employer.

When using a wide-angle lens like the Nikon 14-24mm ƒ/2.8 lens you can do portraits with the lens, but you want to keep the face closer to the center than to the edges. Here you can see the hands a slightly distorted when they are on the edges of the photo.

What I like the most about the wide-angle lens is it brings the audience into the scene and gives you a more intimate look.

Now this is shot with the Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.4 lens.  In this photo I am shooting at ƒ/1.4 aperture. Now while it pops the subject out from the background I am starting to loose the logo which helps to establish the workplace.

I liked the effect of popping the subject out from the background, but I didn’t like the logo being so blurred. I then chose to close the aperture down just slightly to ƒ/2.8.  I like this the best of these two options.

Before you shoot–TEST

Your subject will most likely not have the time for you to take all day running around trying different locations. The best thing to do is have an assistant or ask for a volunteer to stand in for your test shots. Work out your lighting with them. Find all the locations before the subject shows up.

I had an assistant stand in for the subject and together we worked on locations. I would shoot and show the assistant and ask for his feedback. Sometimes you miss something and just having another set of eyes will help you catch any distractions.

Here are some of the test shots that I did about an hour before the subject was to meet me.

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