Sets vs. Sheets

Observant readers will notice that my work is never on a blank background. These blank, solid backgrounds are a staple of so many portrait studios, but I make it a point to avoid using them. Why? Because they lack character.
 
A talent agent will tell you that your headshot needs to be on a solid, blank backdrop because it helps the hiring party to imagine you in their photo series or television show, therefore increasing your chances of being cast. I beg to differ. I believe that by showcasing you in a real-life location or scenario, you showcase how capable you are of selling a product or feeling. I would equate photographing on a blank background to buying an outfit just by looking at it on the hanger; That's always a bad idea because when you get it into a real-life scenario, you might regret it.
 
Location scouting is an essential part of my job. Because of my film background, I'm not just looking for any old building or alleyway – I'm searching for sets. The right set will conjure up a feeling and works as a backdrop to the action in the foreground. I've been told this is what helps to keep my work distinct and I don't think I'd like it any other way.
 
In-studio blank backdrop shots may be more affordable, but with outdoor shots you not only get what you pay for, but the chance to say "Look, I was there."