Chapter 10: What makes an effective “location” portrait?


A “location” portrait is where the subject is set in a location or backdrop that tells part of the story.  An example would be the person in their office.  “Location” photography can be very effective in advertising, brochures, and web sites. Consult with your marketing people and photographer to see what will be best for you.

Choose a location or digital backdrop that will set the stage but not distract from the subject.

Practical considerations:

  • The photographer may have to scout the location before the session.
  • Additional lighting may have to be brought in.
  • What is the weather forecast if outside.  A windy day will blow the hair.  Too cold and people will look like they are freezing.  Too sunny and harsh shadows will have to be dealt with.
  • How will the session be affected by normal pedestrian traffic, or routine business, etc.

Consider the pros and cons.

  • When on location, the session is controlled by the environment as noted above.
  • In the studio, work has a more controlled environment.
  • In a natural location, the person may feel more at home (such as in his office) and the look can be more natural.
  • In a studio the person may feel less comfortable and there is a need to make a set with props, use digital backdrops etc.