In the 10 years of the Photo Challenge, we’ve had two Environmental Portrait Challenges, one in 2009 and one in 2016. Both were brought forward by Trevor. Trevor liked portraiture and brought a few different challenges based on portraits over the years.

September Challenge, week 4 (environmental portraits)



If you’ve read the two old Photo Challenges, you already know that this has nothing to do with environmental issues. It’s all about photographing people in their environment,most often their work environment.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: OUTDOORS / À L’EXTÉRIEUR &emdash; Noémie with Hawk @ UQROP

Work, in my mind, not all jobs are created equally. In the above image, one who loves birds, especially birds of prey, is probably counting their blessing when being able to work with ambassador birds and build awareness for preservation. That’s my personal take on it.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: Auvergne &emdash; crepe maker in Colmar, FranceEnvironmental portraiture can be practiced anywhere someone is in their work, thinking, relaxing, home, etc, environment. In the above example, a crepe maker in the streets of Colmar in France.

Defining Your Photo Challenge

WIKIPEDIA defines Environmental Portraiture as;

An environmental portrait is a portrait executed in the subject’s usual environment, such as in their home or workplace, and typically illuminates the subject’s life and surroundings. The term is most frequently used of a genre of photography.

By photographing a person in their natural surroundings, it is thought that you will be able to better illuminate their character, and therefore portray the essence of their personality, rather than merely a likeness of their physical features. It is also thought that by photographing a person in their natural surroundings, the subject will be more at ease, and so be more conducive to expressing themselves, as opposed to in a studio, which can be a rather intimidating and artificial experience.

Manfrotto’s Photography School as a great article by Colin Dutton on Environmental Portraits. This should give you the necessary insight to push your photography one step further.


My experience with Environmental Portraits is fairly slim. I don’t particularly like photographing people. However, natural lighting is always my preference as it’s the mood setter for any given environment. I personally feel that altering the light takes away from the editorial feel of the image. However feel free to follow any artistic inclinations you may have to portray your vision in your very own unique way.

For those wanting to pursue some natural light environmental portraiture, here’s a little article with some tips from PETAPIXEL – 8 Tips for Making Better Environmental Portraits in Natural Light

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to our active community on our Facebook GroupFlickr Groupor 500PX group (or all three). Tag the photo:  #10thanniversaryphotochallenge #2018photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • 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.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2018 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

[amazon_link asins=’0866537457,0321951611,B005M09B4E,B00LGUHLXW|B00LGUHLXW,059651574X,0321951611,0866537457|B00J4O204W,B00LGUHLXW,059651574X’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’stevetrolep0f-20|stevetrolepho-20|stevetrolepho-21′ marketplace=’US|CA|UK’ link_id=’ff2d7495-b373-11e8-98e1-cbae2890af4e’]



About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.