Help me move on.....

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ottor, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. ottor

    ottor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I want to stretch out a little and move into an area I'm not very comfortable with. Like most others without formal photography training, I began shooting still life and landscape photographs.. Birds, flowers, scenery, macros, etc. - But I'd like to begin shooting stuff that makes me a little more uncomfortable - people. When you shoot a flower, you don't have to direct it; you don't have to pose it; you don't have to explain what your'er doing, or you don't have to explain the 'why' of the picture.. you don't have to sell a models release, and you certainly don't have the feeling that you're imposing any at all.

    I really like the idea of "Documentary" type photography. I'd like to come up with an idea or 'topic', and go out and shoot pictures that portray that idea or feeling... My parents were alchololics and, for some reason, that subject attracts me... as well as homelessness. I'd like to photograph certain events, not the "Action" shot, but I'd like to capture photographs that 'portray' the event, and the people behind it... There are lots of antique flea markets, and some of the stuff they're selling, as well as some of the folks that actually attend and, or, sell are just as interesting..

    Where do I begin? How do I present myself to the people that would be in the pictures? How do you approach an extremely photogentic person and portray what your'e doing, and why you want to take their picture??

    Like I said - there's no interaction between me, my camera, and a beautiful tree..... my inexperience and lack of confidence is preventing me from moving on, and I'd appreciate some suggestions...

    Any help?

    tks,
     
  2. Alphaem

    Alphaem TPF Noob!

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    The best way that I have found is to just go up and ask the people to be in your photograph and present them with your business card so they know you are not a stalker.

    If you plan on using the photo for sale or commercial purposes then you need to have them sign a model release which you can find forms online.

    Most people do not mind at all, in very few instances have people refused to be in my photographs. Hop this helps.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    All of your questions are covered in Bryan Peterson's inexpensive book:

    Beyond Portraiture. [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Portraiture-Creative-People-Photography/dp/0817453911/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266182252&sr=8-1]Amazon.com: Beyond Portraiture: Creative People Photography (9780817453916): Bryan Peterson: Books[/ame]

    There are used copies for as little as $8, plus shipping.
     
  4. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    maybe start a blog. treat the blog as your publication. begin to frequent the territory you're interested in. assimilate. go a bit deeper, build some rapport. if explanations/justifications are required - you're building a documentary body of work as per your blog. with social-documentary, people often seem more accepting with being photographed if there is a definite purpose/concept, or intention to exhibit the pictures at some future opportunity.
     
  5. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Before you actually go and find a 'subject' to shoot, you need to be able to actually take the pictures.

    Street-type or documentary shooting is very difficult because the shooter must be able to understand when a picture is developing, react quickly to get in position and then actually get a decent shot. Start developing your abilities by shooting public events and make each one an 'assignment.'

    Only when you know you can get the shots, should you then take on a documentary issue where some management of people is concerned.

    Lew
     

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