Jessica Holden Photography » My Photo Journal

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Project 12 Portraits | Environmental Portrait

This one was really hard for me! I am fine with portraits that I can set up, with props or clothing to showcase, even with posing. But I struggle with anything related to lifestyle photography. I scoured the internet for advice and examples, and in the end I interpreted an “environmental portrait” as simply one in which the environment is a huge part of the story. No shallow depth of field to blur the background into nothing, drawing focus strictly on your subject, because the background should be playing a part in telling your story. But I differentiate it from lifestyle work because your subject can still be engaged with you as the photographer, and is an active participant in the shoot, whereas with lifestyle images, the subject is basically unaware that the camera is there, and instead is interacting with their environment—they are doing something, and you just happen to be there photographing it.

So into Emily’s bedroom we went to capture an environmental portrait. She hopped on her bed with all the little stuffed creatures she has collected forever and is too much of a sentimental girl (like her mama) to part with. And she did what she most often does on school nights—her homework.



This month’s theme definitely brought me out of my comfort zone, but I am glad to have this wonderful group to push me! So please continue on to my friend Kimberly’s environmental portrait!

Oh—and simply because Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year, I simply HAD to post a Valentine image, even though I didn’t take any this year… (I let myself down this year!)


  • Suzanne Carey - February 14, 2013 - 2:04 pm

    My girls would love to hang out at your house! I actually think I recognize a few of those stuffed animals. Your daughter is so beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • krista - February 14, 2013 - 10:40 pm

    I can’t believe how different our two 8th graders are….Things look a little happier at your house…and a whole lot cleaner šŸ™‚ Beautfiul shots of your daughter!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 15, 2013 - 12:14 pm

    Your daughter is beautiful:). I love how you included all of her stuffed animals, that will be a great memory.ReplyCancel

  • Allison Jacobs - February 21, 2013 - 7:42 pm

    Love these Jessica! It is so fun to see Emily in her element, with her animals & doing homework! The planned shoots are always fabulous but there is something so real about this type of portrait. Tell her that G has a ton of animals too & all I could think was that we still have years to go with them on the bed when I saw her collection! šŸ˜€ReplyCancel