How much background should a photographer include in your portrait

Every time I search for or scout a new location to shoot at in Louisville, I always have to consider the background and how much of the background am I going to include in the image.  By saying “including”, I mean how much of the background am I going to have in focus.

The reason why photographers have to consider this is because the difference between the background in focus and the background out of focus is a huge difference.  In the two picture below, you can see the difference between in focus background and out of focus background.
DSC_1052DSC_1056Sometimes you may be going for one photography effect, and then again; sometimes another photography effect.  Usually when the background is unattractive, I will choose to make the background out of focus which can result in a beautiful, muslin like, in studio type image but taken outdoors.  So next time your in Louisville and you have a crummy background to work with, don’t be afraid to still do the photo shoot.  Just remember to blow out the background.