3. Take in a wider view
Sometimes the landscape is just as beautiful as the subject, or the place gives context to the person's story. Most photographers will reach for their 50mm, 85mm or 105mm for a realistic look to subjects, but to keep the person prominent in the frame while including more background, opt for the likes of a 35mm lens but keep the subject at a safe distance to avoid distortion.
For portraits where the environment is an important part of the story, you might want to embrace the slight distortion and go slightly wider at 24mm and place the subject in the foreground to make the background bigger. It can make for compelling images, but be careful to keep their hands and feet neatly posed as their size will be exaggerated if too close to the camera and distract from the main focus of the image.
4. Match the background
Once you've met your subject, find a location that suits their style and personality. Are they quiet and fragile – maybe suiting florals; do they have vivid red hair that will look great again green; or does their slick appearance call for chic city lines or cool teen-spirit scream graffiti and concrete? Let your subject guide your location, but once you have your location – guide the subject.
Coordinating clothing to your location is important whether it's to avoid clashing colours or patterns, confusing the context or delivering the wrong impression of a subject. For instance, if you're taking travel portraits of a rural villager who loves his New York Knicks cap, you're probably best to take control and gently ask for it to be removed as out-of-context clothing like that can weaken your portrait.
5.Use foreground interest
A very strong compositional tool, not only reserved for landscape photographers, foreground interest can establish depth and complement your subject by making a portrait even more intriguing. Often foreground interest can help a location portrait pop when only natural light is in play, rather than using flash, which doesn't often work well with foreground interest and does the job of adding punch.
When choosing foreground interest at your location, it's important to keep focus on your subject and employ a wide aperture. Too much depth-of-field can make foreground distracting from the main focus. Look for objects you can shoot past or through such as cars or buildings or foliage. Try adjusting your viewpoint too to make the foreground more prominent.
6. Look for reflections
Not all location portraits need to be outdoors; a shoot in the city can reveal many unusual possibilities – one popular option being shooting into restaurants and cafes. Not only do your subjects benefit from the soft window light but you get lots of interesting reflections cast across the windows, often revealing context of the location they're in and what's behind you.
It's not a technique that's as easy as it looks because your shooting angle to the glass, the angle and strength of the light and focusing past the reflections can all prove challenging, but it's worth the effort. You're best to manually focus past the reflections, glare and smudges on the window to get your subject sharp and use a wide aperture. If, of course, you want to shoot through a window without reflections, use a polariser.