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Environmental Portraits

For this assignment in my Photojournalism course, we were asked to take environmental portraits of two different people (one we know, one we don’t know). “Environmental portraits” basically just means that we had to capture these people in their surroundings to get a good sense of the space in which this person works, lives, or plays.

First, I took pictures of this woman, Brittany O’Brien. She owns a stationery and design shop. The other day I was wandering downtown with my friend and we discovered this shop. I, incidentally, had to buy my sister a birthday card. I fell in love with this shop. It had a great interior design, as well as wonderfully designed papers and cards. I knew I had to take pictures of this woman and her business.

Brittany O’Brien, 33, of Bellingham, Wash., poses for a portrait in her design and stationery shop, Spruce, in downtown Bellingham on Cornwall Avenue, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. She started this business for weddings and special events eight years ago in her own home and about a year ago, moved to a location in town to expand her business to cards and papers.

My second photoshoot was with this woman, Alex Chose. I had a class with Alex in winter quarter of my freshman year of college. We shared a Women’s Studies class and worked on a research paper together. I am not incredibly close friends with this woman, but I do admire her as a person. I thought since I don’t know her that well, it would be interesting to take photos of her. I did know, however, that she was a bicyclist, so I thought she’d be perfect for this assignment. Here are how the photos went:

Alex Chose, 20, a human services major at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., poses for a portrait along a trail in Bellingham, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Chose commutes by bike to campus, her job at the Community Food Co-op in town and wherever her free time allows her.


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