Environmental portraits, although often a lucrative genre of photography, can be very challenging. Often you have to deal with busy subjects, cluttered environments and mixed lighting. This was exactly the case with this environmental portrait shoot, where Karl had to overcome working in a busy, cluttered environment before having only 10 minutes to photograph his subject.
Photographing a whisky sommelier in a busy liquor store, this particular shoot shows how Karl overcomes challenges such as re-arranging and styling a cluttered scene, controlling light in a small space, photographing reflective bottles and how to work quickly when your subject only has a few minutes to spare.
What you’ll learn:
- How to photograph environmental portraits
- How to arrange a cluttered scene
- Controlling light in small spaces
- Tips for photographing reflective bottles and surfaces
- Communicating with your subject
- Tips for working quickly and effectively when photographing people
If you have any questions about this class, please post in the comment section below.
The pressure was on from the very start with this shoot of a whisky sommelier as we knew we only had 10-minutes to photograph him. This meant we had to style the scene and get the lighting as close to perfect as we could before starting the shoot.
The first thing we had to deal with was the setting itself. I knew I wanted to incorporate the vast whisky selection in the shot, but to get a pleasing result required a lot of re-arranging. This took a lot of time and we also had to ensure the liquid in the bottles had a nice warm golden, glow (to do this, I used a technique that’s shown in my whisky photography live workshop).
Once we’d styled the scene, the next thing was to finalise the lighting before getting the subject in. Working in a fairly tight space, I had to use grids, ND gels and flags to control the light.
Once the lighting was right, I got the subject in. Clear communication is key, and you’ll see me clearly explaining what I wanted to achieve and discussing my ideas with the subject in the video. This is something I talk about more in my ‘Business Portrait Theory’ class.
In the end I was very pleased with the results. Thanks to careful planning and teamwork, we were able to get a great result in just over an hour.