Outdoor Open-Air Profile Portraits the Benefits of Getting Out
A greater awareness of space might be one of the lasting legacies of the COVID crisis. Not the ‘space’ which Captain Kirk urged us to boldly got to, I mean the space around us, open air and light, the breeze in your air and sun on your face. Not just the first, crucial two metres.
After being stuck indoors for all that time, anything and anyone outdoors can look more appealing. So a profile picture shot in the open air is almost sure to have a positive, open feel. In a park, the countryside or the garden there’s an association with nature, growth, development, the environment and sustainability. In the town or city, the tone is cutting-edge, cosmopolitan, modern, youthful, fashion-conscious or gritty.
Outdoor, open-air profile portrait photographs are just more interesting than those taken in a studio. (Believe me, I’ve taken plenty of dull studio portraits!) But shooting in a studio with flash has one big advantage – control. You can guarantee the subject will be getting a good profile portrait photograph after the session, and the photographer can know before the session starts what the picture will look like. That can not be true of a photo session in the open air, there are too many variables.
So how can we reduce the risks implicit in booking an outdoor profile portrait photography session? Forethought is the answer, thinking it through, discussing and agreeing on the options, depending on the conditions and locations found on the day.
With the best will in the world, you can’t shoot in the rain, snow or wind. If the forecast looks bad, postpone in good time to a later date.
Daylight can give lovely, flattering soft light. Sunshine give harsh deep shadows and a squint.
Whether it’s a natural or urban background, it should be thrown out of focus to avoid being a distraction. It can also give depth to the image or provide a frame around the subject
A busy location reduces control and predictability, passers-by might make the subject uncomfortable or clutter the background.
Time of day
The light changes as the sun moves across the sky affecting its nature and direction. The number of people and the amount of traffic will vary according to time of day.