I'm mostly just rambling here so there's a TLDR version at the end if you want to skip the babble... I've been working on my photography for a while now and though I still have a long ways to go (choose your own metric), I feel like I've lacked direction recently. I've been trying to figure out how to get myself excited about photography again and maybe even find a way to make a tiny bit of money from it. Often what happens when I get in this mood is I end up taking some sort of self-portrait just to test a lighting concept or something, just for fun. After goofing off a bit yesterday (current avatar) I decided I wanted something that showed more of my professional side, and did a little brainstorming. I've taken plenty of portraits and self-portraits that are studio-esque but that gets boring; I wanted something with more context. So I finally came up with an idea, though I won't be able to shoot it for a couple days (and I'll share it when I'm done so y'all can berate it ), but the overall process got me wondering if this may be a direction worth staying on for a while. Generally speaking when I start thinking through a shot (whether it's me, or my kids, or whoever), I spend a lot of time trying to figure out the background... mostly how to get rid of it or make sure it's not distracting. I think that's why I kind of hit a wall with my photography; it was frustrating to want to shoot something but felt like I was constrained by where I could shoot it. Environmental portraits would take that thought process in a different direction: incorporate the background, make it a part of the portrait, use it to give context, instead of trying to figure out how to get around or avoid it. I think that environmental portraits also play to some of my other personal strengths and weaknesses: I'm a good listener (important for learning about the subject and what context you want to place them in) I prefer thinking creatively rather to "sticking to a script" I hate location scouting. Hate hate hate it. I'd much rather meet someone at a location that they've scouted, especially if it's a place that's important to them, but using my previous thought process (minimize the background) that was really difficult to work with (so I never really tried). I dislike artificially posing people, especially groups (i.e. the shot of the family walking hand-in-hand through an orchard in autumn - it's pretty, but feels so fake). I much prefer a more candid feel, which doesn't always lend itself to studio portraits, but can be incorporated in to environmental portraits, especially if they're in a location they're comfortable in. From a business model perspective, I've never even come close to trying to get paid for my photography, and generally speaking never really felt that I had reached a point where I could. However, this feels like a niche that could maybe be monetized if I worked on it for a while first. So what are your thoughts? Do you think that working on "environmental portraits" before I'm tried-and-true at more conventional portraits is putting the cart before the horse? Have you ever attempted to focus on environmental portraits as a business model, or known someone who has? Do you see any gaping holes in my logic, or simply think I'm crazy to even think of this as a potential avenue for development (pun intended)? TLDR; What is your opinion of environmental portraits as an art form, as a business model, and what would you say are the biggest challenges to overcome?