An environmental portrait is a portrait executed in the subject’s usual environment, such as in their home or workplace, and typically illuminates the subject’s life and surroundings. These images are some of the portraits I have taken over the last couple of months for various projects, to show the viewer an insight into the lives of my subjects. What they are all about and how they contribute to society. The purpose is to tell their story with the images.
By photographing a person in their natural surroundings, you will be able to better show their character, and therefore portray the essence of their personality, rather than merely a likeness of their physical features.
This is where photography becomes a social activity. Your photographic excursions become unforgettable adventures through souks, villages, cities and homes. Once you start meeting the people you photograph, their smiles become gifts as it they are saying “thank you for showing an interest in me”. One of the many, many things Phil taught me was to connect with my subject. He used to say “Don’t just shoot the shit out of them. Shake their hands and kiss some babies”.
By far the most rewarding aspect I have gained from my career as a photographer -so far- is the radical characters and unique personalities I have met along the way. The photos are just there to remind me of them.