Shooting Street Portraits and Talking to People

Street Portrait

During Project Ginger I gained more selfconfidence in taking photos of total strangers on the street, and I also learned that people tend to be quiet happy and positive towards the idea of a strange woman taking pictures of them. However, I always ask them before pressing the shutter and everything about the photos is staged.

One exciting thing about Street Photography is taking photos of people in action when they are not aware that they are being watched. In a non-creepy-stalkery way of course. I like watching people, thinking about their destinations and plans and love to freeze small special moments of their lives. I’m becoming more brave and confident and dare to go closer. If I get noticed, though, I feel and act like a deer in the headlights. I want to change that.

There are hundreds of articles about Street Photography on the Internet as it is a genre without clear rules. Street photography is about seeing Things, and the problem the photographer has to face is less technical or “How to pose your model” but more “How far can I go?”. It’s not interesting how you took a photo, the interesting part is what you captured. Therefore, you can find all kinds of opinions and discussions about the ethics of Street Photography.

One main aspects seems to be the same through all of them, though. And this is the one, that I still need to work on:

… when you do get caught, try to interact with people or smile or anything I don’t know, do a funny dance… but don’t walk away like a creep who stole a shot.

Street Photography Ethics and Respect on PetaPixel

So, I’m still working on this funny dance. During our vacation trip, we encountered two situations that proved that it’s not dangerous to take photos of people and get caught in doing it. Of course you should always be professional and nice and respect other people’s boundaries and wishes (use Google for more views on that).

The photo in the top was one of my first times where I challenged my inner deer and approached the guys after they noticed me. They were pretty relaxed, happy with just having their espresso and cigarette, so they didn’t mind at all and happily provided me with their mail address so I could send the photo to them. As I really liked the photo and its atmosphere, this experience got even better by having had the possibility to chat with some nice people and being able to show them what I could make of their happiness with the espressi and cigarettes.

Street Portrait

Later that day, we came by a scultpure made for climbing and two guys occupied with that activity. As he is interested in climbing, my boyfriend asked them whether he could take some photos which they agreed to. In the beginning, I wasn’t that much into taking photos of them and just waited on the sideline as I expected us to continue soon. In the end, we stayed with the climbing dudes for about 30-45 minutes, trying different angles, talking about our hobbies and – in my boyfriend’s case – tried to climb a little bit ourselves.

The guys got really hyped about us and wanted to prove that they were able to manage all different kinds of climbing methods. Even though I wasn’t that enthusiastic myself in the beginning, I really warmed up to their excitement and am quite happy with my photos and the experience.

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