Which comes first, the subject or the location?
That’s the chicken and egg aspect of taking someone’s photograph out in the world.
Some people look great, no matter the setting. Plenty of locations are stellar without the addition of a human form.
Balancing the subject to the background is a creative challenge every time. If the result looks effortless, I’ve done it right.
When a location jumps out at me, like this one in Berkeley, I have to be careful not to let my emotions get the best of me. The last thing that I want is for the place to overpower the person.
My solution here was to use the existing break in the wall to split the difference. I think the ratio turned out to be just right.
About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.