Professor Portrait

Professor portrait for Pittsburgh "Higher Education" client

Professor Environmental Portrait

Environmental portrait photography is always a challenge, and I guess that’s why I like it so much.  A client will say “We need to photograph this guy and we don’t have a good place to shoot it.  Let’s just shoot it out in the hall of something?  So what’s a photographer to do?  The answer is to “make art”.  Portrait photography is basically about three elements: composition, lighting, and expression.


Portrait composition is about the arrangement of elements inside the frame of the photo and the position of the actual subject.  Here are the things a portrait photographer needs to take into account when creating the composition for a great environmental portrait.

Negative Space

This is especially important if the portrait is for some commercial use to be used in conjunction with headlines or copy.  Negative space can help develop compositional tension, balance, or interest.


Or, environment can add a sense of “where” the subject is being photographed or even “why” the picture is being taken.   The environment of the photo should relate to the subject in some meaningful way.


The pose should relate to the reason of the photo.  Is the message of the photo “action” oriented of just the representation of an individual.  What does the subject do?

There are many things to think about when doing an environmental portrait.  Composition is just one of them, but it’s an important element and deserves much thought and consideration.




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