Assignment Forty Five: Environmental Portrait in Square Crop

Assignment Due Wednesday, December 19 before showtime.
(Please upload before the show so we don’t have to refresh the page.)


“I want a shot with lighting that creates an atmosphere around the subject,” the client said while looking through your book for the upcoming shoot. “Something that makes the image ‘jump’ off the page, you know what I mean?”

He removes the cigar from his face with short, stubby hands and looks at you… waiting for an answer.

You quickly formulate the fact that the guy is a little nuts.

You nod your head in agreement without stating the obvious; “No, I have no idea what you are seeing inside your brain, Mr. Client, but now I am feeling a little on the edge of disaster here…”

He reaches for a stack of magazines on the ground and points to a cover shot of a local magazine… “Like this, with cool lighting and stuff.”

The cigar ash falls on one of the covers and you start to back away slowly, expecting the whole place to be engulfed by raging fire.

You are starting to think that this professional photography thing may be a little over the top of strange when you suddenly realize you can do something like that. It is not easy, but with a few lights, a couple of reflectors, maybe a desk lamp or two, you could create an image of the subject that has that ‘ethereal, otherworldly, sort of cool like in Vanity Fair sort of way…

BTW: It has to be a square crop. And it has to be in color. And it has to pull people in to the magazine with eye contact… got that!!! Good.

(NOTE: Based on an assignment given to a friend of mine last year.)

Cover Photograph by Ron Heusser

Flickr Page is here.

Author: Don Giannatti

I have been a photographer, art director, creative director and designer for nearly 40 years. The experience both behind the camera and behind the desk hiring photographers has given me a unique set of tools for working with photographers. Project 52 grew out of a frustration with the boards and forums that seem to be more about personalities than the actual work of being a commercial photographer. I am not famous, and I have no aspirations to be... but I know what the hell I am talking about.

Share This Post On

1 Comment

  1. “Hello, i’m pooping in a volcano”

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>