Environmental Portraits: Electronics Worker

For this environmental portrait shoot Karl was challenged with turning a busy factory setting into something far more suitable for a pleasing portrait.

Photographing an electronics worker at broncolor’s factory in Switzerland, Karl was looking for a location that highlighted the hand crafted element of the company while also acknowledging their advancements and modernity.

Once he’d found the right location, he then had to declutter the busy scene, balance daylight and studio flash to get the best possible results and also make sure the subject felt comfortable. Throughout this video you’ll learn how to overcome these common challenges as Karl walks you through the shoot from start to finish. By the end of this class you’ll have an understanding of the most important skills that will help you work confidently in any location (with both natural and artificial light) and you’ll be able to apply this knowledge to other areas of your photography.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to photograph environmental portraits
  • How to work in difficult environments to get distraction free backgrounds
  • Balance natural light and flash for the best lighting
  • How to communicate with your subject and put them at ease
  • Lighting setups for environmental portraits
  • Tips for environmental portraits

If you have any questions about this class, please post in the comment section below.


When it comes to environmental portraiture, each image is unique, and comes with its own set of challenges. For this image, the main challenge was finding a suitable location. Before I even started shooting, I took some time to walk around the building to try and find the best spot.

environmental portrait location

A stand-in subject can be used to test the best locations.

Once I’d found a suitable location, the next challenge I faced was decluttering the scene and lighting the subject.

Once everything was ready, I was able to get the subject in. The key to natural looking portraits is to make sure your subject feels comfortable, so I made sure to clearly communicate with her throughout the shoot so that she could see my vision too.

environmental portrait planning

Communicate with your subject and make sure the background is not too busy before you start shooting.

In the end I used a very simple three light setup (which, as I explain in the video, could have been a one light setup), but the key thing was to balance the different types of light. After running through different combinations, I was able to achieve a very pleasing result, as you can see below.

Environmental portrait example

The final environmental portrait image of a broncolor electronics worker.

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