Street photography has always been an intimidating genre. It takes a lot of courage and the right approach to be successful at it. Thankfully, photographer Pierre Lambert has a few useful tips to help boost your confidence once you decide to take on shooting in the streets.
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Do you find photographing strangers in the street extremely awkward and even unpleasant? I know I do, so this video from Jessica Kobeissi and Mango Street really amused me, but also got me inspired. The three young photographers teamed up, created “Free Portraits” posters and interacted with strangers in the street asking them to take their photo. It’s a fun experiment of pushing personal boundaries.
Street photography is a scary enough prospect on its own for many people. But to actually approach random strangers on the street and ask if you can shoot their portrait? That fills many with a fear akin to walking the plan over shark infested seas. You have to really push yourself to get outside of your comfort zone and do something you’re not happy with.
And it can be a very difficult fear to get over. But photographer Matt Higgs from WEX is here to help with some advice. His challenge is to photograph 30 random people in the streets in 2 hours. For those counting, that’s a new person every 4 minutes. A lot of pressure, especially if it can take you 10-15 minutes just to work up enough courage to ask the first,
This is one of my favourite subjects. I love teaching in my workshops as most people feel awkward about approaching people on the streets to photograph them.
Through experience, trial and error, I have had the pleasure to understand the psychology of approaching perfect strangers to ask them for a pic and the wonderful joy we receive by pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone.
Taking portraits is something I really love. When there is a model available, you get a lot of freedom regarding the pose, expressions and styling. However, during my travels when I want to portray people in their authentic environment, I usually don’t get to choose a model, because it is about the people who are really living there.
Often I find it fairly difficult when I am somewhere for a few days to make a connection with the local people and portray them in a way that I want. I am sure there are more people that think the same way and are having troubles with approaching people and getting the most out of these situations. Of course you can take photos in a street photography kind of way and capture the moments just as they happen, which I love to do as well. Besides that, I really like it to have some kind of influence on the shot and the pose. This is the reason for me to challenge myself and go on a 4 days trip to Morocco.
No matter how many times this subject comes up, it’s always extremely uncomfortable for a great many photographers to approach people in the street. Whether it’s the feeling of being perceived as weird or simply being rejected, a lot of people are afraid to just walk up to people and say “Hey, can I make your portrait?”.
It’s something that photographer Jamie Windsor‘s struggled with, but he’s determined to get over it. So, he reached out to fellow photographer and YouTuber, Pablo Strong, to ask for some help to get over that fear and learn how to approach people in the street.
Street photography is a weird genre of photography. So many want to try it, but they’re afraid. Afraid of rejection and potentially hostile reactions. There are two schools of thought when photographing people in the street. The first is to just shoot, and worry about consequences later. Legally, that’s fine in many parts of the world. The latter is to obtain permission first and then shoot the photo.
There is the argument that asking takes away the spontaneity. What you saw and wanted to photograph ceases to exist. But it becomes something else. A street portrait. That, too, can be a great thing. In this video, photographer Jim Rogalski shows us how he approaches strangers in the street, even in other countries where there are significant language problems.
Have you ever asked a complete stranger to take their photo? Have you ever felt connected with someone you’ve never seen before? It can be strange, right? New York-based photographer Richard Renaldi focuses his project Touching Strangers around these situations.
Richard finds random strangers in the streets and poses them like they’re family, friends or even partners. The result is an incredible series of photos which shows the connection we can form with others even though we’ve just met.
There are certainly several ways to find models for your photography project. But Los Angeles-based photographers Neil Kremer and Cory Johnson (KremerJohnson) decided to use Craigslist, which turned out to be more than successful. Their simple Craigslist ad has attracted hundreds of responses and turned into a pretty big project that’s still ongoing. It captures people of “all shapes, races, genders and sizes” and shows the true beauty that lies in diversity.
The joy of Photographing on the street comes from close and engaging photos. Displaying the human nature and emotions in a way that the audience can relive these moments requires the photographer to be close and engaging as well. Unfortunately for a lot of us, it is not easy to stand out from the masses and overcome artificial social boundaries. Causing an irrational fear of photographing in public and making the live as a street photographer very hard. In the following article I will describe the sources of this obstruction that is limiting our full capability.