How to Photograph Environmental Portraits

Environmental portraits are a genre of portraiture that are often in high demand. Used in anything from annual reports to websites, they can be a great way to make money and test your skills.

When it comes to photographing environmental portraits, as the photographer you often have to deal with a lot of unknowns, but it’s your job to apply your knowledge and skills to produce results that your client will be happy with.

Through a series of tutorials Karl shows you a number of scenarios where he has to overcome a variety of different challenges, including decluttering the scene or background, controlling mixed and studio light and making sure the subject feels comfortable.

This introduction also provides an overview of the key considerations to keep in mind when working on location and photographing people and Karl shares his top 10 tips for photographing environmental portraits.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to photograph environmental portraits
  • How to declutter your scene to get the best background
  • Techniques for controlling studio light
  • How to balance mixed lighting
  • Use affordable equipment suitable for shooting on location
  • How to make your subject feel comfortable
  • Communicating with and posing your subject

If you have any questions about this class, please post in the comment section below.


  1. Hi Karl. Just subscribed to the course. Can you use speed lights stead of portable studio lighting. Obviously not going to get the continual lighting but can you achieve similar final results using speed lites. TIA

    1. Hi, yes you can and you will see us use speedlites in some of our other classes. We also have a series of new enviromental portrait classes scheduled for next year that all use speedlites. These are hopefully being filmed in December and released in 2024.

Leave a Comment