First off, let’s clarify that this is not a climate change, activism, or save the environment type of challenge. I’m not passing judgement on those issues, it’s just that historically “environmental portraits” are portraits made of people in their normal environment, and for this challenge I’m challenging you to photograph people in their work environment.

Erica - stranger 23/100

This one will challenge you to get out and probably ask to take someone’s portrait whom you don’t know or only know casually.

Some things to consider is your purpose. The goal is a nice portrait of one person. So be prepared to take your shot, before you ask. Have your settings set. If you’re going to document a waiter, take a couple incognito shots of another waiter at another table.


Confirm by chimping, that you’re able to catch enough light and the depth of field you desire. Then, in this example, don’t make the photo from your seat! Ask your waiter/waitress from the table, but stand up to make the photograph.

Farmer Portrait

For this challenge, you’ll be depending on available light. Off camera light will lengthen your “setup time” and that just makes the whole process more cumbersome, and uncomfortable for your subject and probably for you too.


So consider how dark the location’s existing light may effect the exposure. The solution may just be increasing your ISO, or scouting an overhead brighter light that you could stage your subject underneath. But watch for the dark shadows a light from directly above could create.


The sample images should give you some ideas about what kinds of workers you could consider. But also scan through your own group of friends, and maybe select one who works somewhere special or unique. Heck, you may be able to get a nice portrait for your friend that they could use professionally. Who knows, if it turns out nice, their employer may consider hiring you to make similar portraits of all their employees!

Another day, another row to hoe
The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2016.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.
  • Extra Rule for the Portrait Challenges, you must shoot a new subject for each portrait.

[Header Image Credit: Environmental portrait, by craig taylor]