Written by Lindsay Sullivan | The Small Business Photographer | KNOW Calgary

Environmental portraits are photos taken of a subject where they work. Here are three reasons why every brand needs environmental images:

1. Environmental portraits use a location to tell your brand story. 

Locations set the scene! The key is choosing a background that adds to your brand story. It can be a place where you meet clients, where you create your products, or even where you go to get inspiration.⠀

Maybe you’re a life or business coach who meets with clients in person. Get some photos of you and a client at a trendy coffee shop or cozy meeting room. You can also ask a friend or family member to pretend to be a client in your photos.

Or perhaps you’re an artist! Get photos done in your art studio surrounded by artistic tools and your art hanging on the walls.

What locations would help tell your brand story? Take 5 minutes and brainstorm some ideas!

2. Environmental portraits use props to tell your brand story.

Props are equipment and tools related to your business. They help the viewer associate a particular occupation with you. ⠀

For a photographer, this could be your camera, lighting gear and other photography tools.

For a financial advisor, this could be your laptop, a calculator, a piggy bank or other financial items.

And if you’re a podcaster, it could be photos of you with a fancy mic and laptop.

What kind of equipment and tools do you regularly use for your business? Many of these would make fantastic props. Get several photos done with you holding and using these items.

3. Environmental portraits use behind-the-scenes action shots to tell your brand story.

People love behind-the-scenes images of your business. They also enjoy catching a glimpse of what it’s like to work with you! Get some photos of you in action with clients, making products or other behind-the-scenes shots.

If you’re a hairstylist, it might be photos of you cutting someone’s hair. Your clients can imagine themselves in your chair, with you laughing with them while you cut their hair. 

Or maybe you’re a spiritual medium who works with tarot cards and meets clients in nature. Let your followers picture what it would feel like sitting across from you on the grass under an old oak tree and watching you spread the tarot cards in front of you.

Next time you need photos for your social media, consider getting some environmental portraits done! They’ll help your dream clients get to know, like and trust you and gain some perspective of what you do! People are far more likely to buy from those they know, like and trust!

dixie brown

Lindsay Sullivan

As CEO and Founder of The Small Business Photographer, Lindsay Sullivan is a leading brand photographer who helps women entrepreneurs star in gorgeous images for their social media, websites, and marketing. Lindsay’s signature photography sessions result in customized photos that resonate with her clients’ brands and communicate their brand stories.