Creating portraits of people on location is very different than working in the studio. That’s because an open sky stands in stark contrast to the constraints of four walls and ceiling.
But if you’re not careful, too many choices can lead to decision fatigue. That’s why when I work outdoors I find that I need to implement certain simulated boundaries.
This allows me to keep things in balance with my subject’s placement in the location.
My rule of thumb is to show the environment contextually. Not as an identifiable place, but as a supporting element to the portrait.
It’s not a rule, just a framework. I let the moment and the totality of the circumstances influence my composition choices.
This has been a long-winded way for me to say that this portrait shows more background than normal because that was my decision in the moment.
About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer specializing in creating environmental on-location portraits and corporate photo libraries for blue chip companies.