Environmental Portraits: Weekly Photography Challenge


This week your photographic challenge is to take an ‘Environmental Portrait’ (or a portrait that is as much about the surrounds of your subject as it is the subject themselves).


The idea came from my post last week – ‘How to Create Portraits that Captivate and Intrigue‘ where I explored the idea of portraits often becoming more interesting when you pay a lot of attention to the background (and foreground) of your portraits and place your subject within an environment that adds to the image.

The cask merchant

You might also like to take a look at my previous Introduction to Environmental Portraits tutorial.

"I Am..." An Engineer

The key is to take a great portrait – but instead of going for a background that is not distracting or blurred it out or zooming in to remove it – put that subject in a setting which tells something about your subject.

Perhaps you’d like to photograph someone at work, or a child in their bedroom, or someone in a sporting dressing room preparing for a game…. really it is totally up to you!

Proud X in his bedroom

Once you’ve taken and selected the ‘Environmental Portrait’ image/s that you’d like to share – upload them to your favourite photo sharing site or blog and either share a link to it or – embed them in the comments using our embed tool to do so.

Ricky's world

If you tag your photos on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter or other sites with Tagging tag them as #DPSENVIRONMENTALPORTRAIT to help others find them. Linking back to this page might also help others know what you’re doing so that they can share in the fun.

Also – don’t forget to check out some of the great shots posted in last weeks challenge – 1 Subject 3 Shots challenge where there were some great shots submitted.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • Mohammed almassarani December 29, 2012 06:12 am

    [eimg url='http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8504/8317986264_37d1c341ce.jpg' title='8317986264_37d1c341ce.jpg']

  • Grant Clowes December 28, 2012 08:40 am


  • Jesus Espinar Lopez December 24, 2012 10:33 am


  • Jesus Espinar Lopez December 24, 2012 02:06 am

    [eimg url='http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5127/5258385929_122919dfcf.jpg' title='5258385929_122919dfcf.jpg']

  • Jesus Espinar Lopez December 24, 2012 02:04 am

    [eimg url='http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8337/8209911954_c6f22ebcdf.jpg' title='8209911954_c6f22ebcdf.jpg']

  • Jesse December 22, 2012 06:16 pm

    http://jbarnaart.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/p1000867c.jpg is my contribution. The environment isn't as "busy" as some of the other ones, but I think it captures the loneliness for a night-time fisherman.

  • Mauricio Rodríguez December 21, 2012 07:23 am


  • Mauricio Rodríguez December 21, 2012 07:20 am


  • Torie December 20, 2012 09:06 am

    Can anyone post their pictures? I just stumbled upon this should, I start at the beginning of the challenges or start here?

  • Penny December 19, 2012 07:13 am

    This is a photo of my boyfriend's father who has been a cowboy his entire life.

  • Glenn December 18, 2012 02:25 am

    Taken last night in the tiny village of Corbera, Spain.


    First time with Environmental portraits but I think I am getting the hang of it and I had a lot of fun.

  • blueb3ll December 17, 2012 09:25 pm

    Taking pictures for a Swedish wool shop


  • Katie December 17, 2012 03:33 pm

    Here is a recent one from me http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=416716591735425&set=a.350303258376759.78310.191767850896968&type=1&theater&notif_t=like

  • Michal France December 17, 2012 09:22 am

    I made this picture in Spanish part of Pyrenees. After ten days of hiking in mountains we decided to take a rest and these two very nice people took care of us. So when leaving I took this picture. It's technicaly not the best but there are emotions and it's telling its story. Hope you will like it!


    PS: Feel free too comment!


  • tom December 17, 2012 07:14 am

    Taken in Myanmar...

  • mark baily December 17, 2012 07:11 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/chefb666/8278657178/in/photostream . Me, Alfie and my mum!

  • Anshuman Mahspatra December 17, 2012 03:06 am

    Our gift to nature...

  • i:xx December 17, 2012 02:21 am

    here's an environmental self-portrait...

  • Thanos December 16, 2012 08:03 pm

    Photo taken in a Cypriot village

  • Eden December 16, 2012 07:06 pm

    Wining making done with traditional machinery in Tuscana.


  • gipukan December 16, 2012 10:27 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gipukan/4872485584/ My shoe cleaner in down town Kampala in Uganda at his work post

  • Raluca Melania December 16, 2012 08:56 am

    I don't usually take many photos of people, but I couldn't resist this kid making funny faces at me at a wedding

    or this sad old lady, looking so lonely in the park...

  • James December 16, 2012 04:03 am

    Dashing into Fall - http://www.flickr.com/photos/7561644@N05/8266605703/in/photostream

  • Ranjith December 15, 2012 11:48 pm

    kid taking a break from his playtime activity on a hot sunny day


  • Jai Catalano December 15, 2012 11:45 pm

    I am glad I see environmental with people. Makes it much more fun.


  • Kevin December 15, 2012 02:48 pm


    Not so much a portrait as the actual person is quite small, but still shows where he works and his environment

  • raghavendra December 15, 2012 02:17 pm

    environmental portraits


  • martin December 15, 2012 11:34 am

    I made Editors Choice on 500px with this one - http://www.flickr.com/photos/buglogic/6981374697/in/set-72157629947052046/lightbox/ - great post Darren :-)

  • Jeff E Jensen December 15, 2012 09:35 am

    Took this one last night:


  • Steve December 15, 2012 09:13 am



  • Seb December 15, 2012 09:02 am

    Vietnamese woman in paddy field :

  • Scottc December 15, 2012 08:35 am

    Not sure if this is a precise fit for the theme, but is about the surroundings of the person.


  • Tom O'Connor December 15, 2012 07:29 am

    Here's an interesting one (I hope)!


  • joshi daniel December 15, 2012 06:44 am

    Fisherman: http://wp.me/silml-182

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