I’m pretty particular about what constitutes a suitable background for a location portrait. Because I want the essence of the subject to be front and center, I seek out environments that offer a certain kind of context.
It’s never about the exact place. In fact, I want the background to be geographically non-specific. Often, a shallow depth of field with a portrait lens is enough to take a recognizable place and render it nondescript.
There are times in which some background detail works its way into the frame in a way that compliments the overall portrait.
That’s exactly what happened with this session that took place in the De Mun neighborhood of St. Louis. The mortar lines in the brickwork seemed to offer something complementary that I still can’t explain in words.
I’ll just let this portrait be the first one thousand words on the matter.
About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.