Why and what is an ‘Environmental Portrait’?

Arnold Abner Newman (March 3rd/1918 – June 6th/2006) once said: “A portrait is a form of biography. Its purpose is to inform you now and to record for history.”

Arnold Newman was the creator of this name that ended up being considered one of the genres of photography.

An ‘Environmental Portrait’ is a portrait of a person or persons in their usual environments, such as their homes, places where they live or work, and typically that says something about who they are and about the surroundings.

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They are made out of studios, with light available at the time on the spot, although sometimes it makes use of flash.

There is also the ‘Location Portraiture’ which is considered different from the ‘Environmental Portraiture’ since it does not tell the story of the people. ‘Location Portraits’ are portraits not necessarily made outdoors, but they are always based on constructed scenes in which people pose for the camera.

My portraits are fundamentally environmental and sometimes they are ‘Location Portraits’. Since most of it is done on the street, I call them ‘Street Portraits’.

Published by Antonio Mozeto

I'm an amateur photographer based in the city of São Carlos, São Paulo state, SE Brazil. I used to make photographs since I was about 15-17 years old. My first camera was a Olympus Trip, an analogue camera. Many years after that I switched to several digital cameras. Presently I own a Nikon D500 with a small set of lenses and a Fujifilm X100T 23mm. A few years after my retirement as an university professor, after teaching Environmental Chemistry at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) for 45 years, I decided to invest money and time dedicating myself more seriously to photography. I´ve taken on-line courses as well as I´ve participated to various photography festival across Brazil. By far, my biggest interest is street photography. And in it, I'm interested in portraits, everyday street scenes and architecture.

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