Location headshots, also called environmental portraits, help show someone in context or place a subject in an interesting background. At SRK Headshot Day we often get asked if we can do these kinds of photos. The answer is yes, of course. We can set up a longer session in our Dogpatch location and shoot in our neighborhood. We can also go to a client or company location for the photos.
Some factors that make a successful location portrait are lighting, planning, scouting, wardrobe and weather conditions. We also recommend makeup for all of our photo sessions.
Lighting is one of the most unique things we do. We have a robust mobile set-up with large battery and full studio lights. We balance the studio lights with the light on site to soften shadows and separate the subject from the background. Just because a photo is taken outside or in the office doesn’t mean the light can’t be just as flattering as in the studio.
Planning is key to a successful location shoot. We don’t just show up and hope the background will work. We prefer to scout in advance at the same time of day we will be shooting. We come up with a shoot schedule and plan for each location. Then when we are creating the portrait, there is one less thing to worry about.
Wardrobe can be coordinated with the location once we have set the background for the portrait. We always like to know who the audience is, where the photo will be used and what the message will be. Then wardrobe is a snap to decide.
Weather is always a factor in an outdoor photo session. We keep an eye on the time of day for sun. But we also come prepared for adverse conditions with alternate locations or dates. We recently worked with a client who we were going to photograph on a bridge late in the day. But the temperature the day of the shoot was 95 degrees and windy. We moved the shoot inside and did a background replacement later. The results were fabulous because of the advanced planning for the alternate location.
We would love to brainstorm ideas for your location portrait. Please feel free to email us with questions and we can set up a time to talk. See many more examples of environmental portraits on our portfolio website.
We also offer Outdoor Headshots through our San Francisco SRK Headshot Day location in Dogpatch.