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View Full Version : Overcoming the fear of shooting people



tygrr
05-20-2006, 11:38 AM
....not literally of course! :eek:

I find it hard to take pictures of people I don't know, so I tend to zoom in a lot which means things often get in the way or I don't have enough zoom to get them close anyway, or I avoid taking those kind of pictures altogether and end up with the usual boring landscapes, architecture or lots of people together in one place kind of pictures.
Nothing personal and up close like you see professionals do if you look at their work. And often, photos of people doing their everyday stuff here and there are the most interesting ones.
So any techniques on how to get close to people without intruding (or feeling that you do)?

I'm trying to decide on a digital SLR and suitable lens(es) which I can afford, so this question relates to that.

DonSchap
05-20-2006, 04:03 PM
I also do not like to creep in on people... because you can feel or sense them bristle as you do.

I'm not sure is it is a natural reaction to the camera... or me, as this huge, imposing guy... armed with this little dinky EOS 20D. Not being the "smoozer" that one would hope to be, my immediacy of "GETTING THE SHOT" often supplants the need for patience.

One of the beauties of shooting "still life" or scenery... is that it doesn't whine or carry on if you have difficulty with the equipment or need to make lighting changes. It just sits there and allows you to get it right... or at least try to. It's not critical.

In a way, I believe the answer may be more sociological or psychological... than physiological. If you can chum up to your model... that may do the trick. Or even setting expectations at a more reasonable level than someone just pressing the shutter-release... and getting it correct, first time (as if!). I certainly don't know... but, I am willing to learn this gift of "people shooting."

Good luck in your search for... the answer :D

cdifoto
05-20-2006, 04:07 PM
Are we talking candids or portraits? A good candid means they didn't know you even took their photo...so no problem there.

A good portrait...well they're posing for it...so no problem there either.

If neither true candid nor portrait (ie somewhere in the middle), walk up and ask if it's ok first. Then shoot if they say sure no problem. Not a legal requirement in most places but just the polite thing to do.

nism
06-05-2006, 05:54 AM
yea i have a bit of trouble taking candid photos
some people give you some really awkward looks
others dont notice

Glenn Kennedy
06-06-2006, 10:37 AM
Some of my own personal favourites are candid shots. There are some places I wouldn't take them - if the environment "feels wrong" I don't try. However, a long lens usually helps - either to provide distance between you & you subject - or (if all else fails) to provide some means of self defence !

karate36chic
06-18-2006, 12:44 PM
sorry that i have no advice but i wanted to say reading this thread made me laugh.
be vewy vewy quiet, we're hunting humans

Christian
06-20-2006, 03:20 AM
A monopod and a decent tele.

Just stand there like your waiting(keep looking at your watch) and eventually people will stop noticing you and go back to what they were doing. That's what I've done a few times.

kornhauser
06-20-2006, 04:11 AM
Quite often I'll find an interesting shot, I'll ask if they have an e-mail account, because "the picture is too good to pass up". I'll shoot the picture then e-mail them a copy. Most people love it!

Vich
06-20-2006, 09:14 AM
Yeah, we need a 007-tilt-shift mirror gizmo. Ahe?

Now that I have my long tele, as long as they're about 100 ft away they're never the wiser. It's rare though that I actually have any use for a shot of somebody I don't know.

some guy
06-20-2006, 10:52 AM
This is the situation where I really miss my swivel LCD screen A95. I can take pix of people all day with since I can place it on waist level and still be able to compose a good shot.
With my 350D it's tough. People can get jittery. Why recently I took some pix of a chess match out in the city park and it took me awhile to blend in quietly snapping some shots. I was able to get close to too.
Asking for permission can be very awkward. They might ask you "what for?" "Why? what publication are you with?" "Do I get something out of it?"

Someone once said that if you have to use a Long-tele then you are not close enough.

Esoterra
06-22-2006, 03:19 PM
Its simple...use a wide angle lense (10-20mm range or thereabouts...) walk up to the target person with your camera on your hip. Your timing has to be impeccable here.... Fart at the exact time that you press the shutter release button and they wont know that you took their picture..no harm no foul. However, if you fart first and then press the shutter release button then you are in big trouble! Keep doing this all day long and one of your attempts should come out great! I would also recommend eating a LOT of beans on the day that you plan on this process!

Best of luck
:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

Jason25
06-22-2006, 04:12 PM
Its simple...use a wide angle lense (10-20mm range or thereabouts...) walk up to the target person with your camera on your hip. Your timing has to be impeccable here.... Fart at the exact time that you press the shutter release button and they wont know that you took their picture..no harm no foul. However, if you fart first and then press the shutter release button then you are in big trouble! Keep doing this all day long and one of your attempts should come out great! I would also recommend eating a LOT of beans on the day that you plan on this process!

Best of luck
:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
LOL, very nice!