Help with photography needed: Socially Awkward

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by TBAM, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. TBAM

    TBAM TPF Noob!

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    I see many photographers do random photos of random people, sometimes random portraits, and I always wonder how they do it.

    Do they ask for permission to take a photo?
    Do they just randomly take it and hope noone notices?

    I'm an amateur photographer looking to potentially get into professional photography. However i'm a bit socially awkward / defunct.

    When I go out taking photos, even if it's of buildings, I often worry about being in peoples' way. Or that I might get someone in the photo that doesn't want to be in the photo.

    I've done band photography, such as promo shots before and done pretty well, however i'm always quite nervous about getting people into poses, or getting them to make faces.

    I'm more of a scavenger photographer, hehe, I tend to observe and capture what someone or something else sets up.

    What I'm asking, is are there any techniques that you photographers have for getting the confidence to move people around at whim, to find someone in front of you in an interesting position and just take a photo of them not caring about what they will say, even though you don't know them, for the greater artistic good.

    To be the one to get in there and get a photo.
     
  2. Solthar

    Solthar TPF Noob!

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    Heh, I'm the same way when it comes to people photography - I hate being the obtrusive man with a camera.

    But as to your first question, the answer lies not in the previously expressed options, but in a hidden third; They keep an eye out for interesting people and places, take the picture, and if they get noticed they really don't care much.

    As to your second, much larger question...

    It's all in the self confidence. or the act of self confidence. If you act like you know what you're doing, usually people will be compliant (even if you really don't know what you're doing!).

    There was a huge discussion about a street photographer by the name of Bruce Gilden, http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=138470 . Take a look at the second post to view a video on how he works - a bit agressive for my tastes, but to each their own.

    Hope that helps
     
  3. tenlientl

    tenlientl TPF Noob!

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    My first time going out and taking pictures was a couple days ago. It was a dad with his 2 daughters, probably around 6 flying a kite. They didn't seem to mind. Although I was taking pics of just the kite, and them from time to time.

    I was gonna ask permission, but i feared he would say no, so I just started shooting.
     
  4. Chewbecca

    Chewbecca TPF Noob!

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    Street photography candids.
    YAY.
    One of my most favorite types of photography. Not to say I do much of it AT ALL, but I love it.
    I'm still shy. I thought it'd be easy to go out and get interesting shots of people.

    I tried to find a link to something that was written up by one of my more favorite street photographers from another board, but I failed to find it.

    I'll try to remember some of the things he says in it, though.

    *Don't ask to take people's pictures. But don't be all hidden and sneaky about it, either. If someone catches you, nod, smile, and hold up your camera, so that they know that you have a camera and are taking pictures.

    *if anyone dislikes that you've taken their picture(s), show them the picture and offer to delete it. MOST people won't be belligerent about it. But if they DO get nasty about it, it's up to you whether you delete it to avoid trouble, or tell them to go get screwed because you can take pictures of anyone you want to take pictures of.

    *Having said that, TRY to avoid taking pictures of random children. People OFTEN DO get upset if they catch you taking pictures of their children. I know, I know, children make some of the BEST candids, but in this day and age, taking pictures of random children is extremely controversial, and even though you may have the best intentions of just taking an adorable shot, it is more often than not perceived wrong.
    I mean, it's one thing if you have a child and you are at a social gathering with your child and other children are present. But just walking around taking pictures of random children is not right. On ANY level.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    setup a website for yourself - make some cheap card ids for yourself (name, email and website) and if you do get caught you can show your card to them and there is a chance that they might buy the shot off you -- of course you have to make certain to tell them that the shot of them is not going to be put on the internet for sale to anybody (hence why you have your e-mail on the card so that they can contact you direct to get the photo).
    Its not about being a mercenary, but more about appearing professional in the public eye - that does a lot to help you - - and heck it might be the start of something good ;)
     
  6. esszeeeye

    esszeeeye TPF Noob!

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    Me,too.Lot of good shots come that way.

    Using live view,if you have it, means you don't have to put the camera up to your eye.


    I imagine I'm invisible,on the street-,if rumbled, smile broadly,laugh about something I did wrong-easy if ya have two left feet,like I do...
    -Make your awkwardness your strength !
     
  7. DavidSR

    DavidSR TPF Noob!

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    One word..telephoto ;)...I use my 55-250 to get some portraits of strangers without them even noticing :)
     
  8. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    thats just creepy and could be considered stalking..
     
  9. DavidSR

    DavidSR TPF Noob!

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    So I suppose it better to get a 50mm prime and be in there face? No point to take candid pictures if you have to ask them first..in my opinion you lose what you were originally going for the moment you ask..their expressions change all because they now KNOW someone is going to take their picture. Just my opinion..many people go out on the streets with telephotos to get some candid pictures. It's not illegal to take pitures of people as long as you are on public property ;).
     
  10. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    no it's not... it's documenting human behavior unaltered by the presence of a camera.....
     
  11. Chewbecca

    Chewbecca TPF Noob!

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    MOST street photographers that I know of, use just that: Their nifty fifty.
    There are two main opinions on which lenses to use for street photography: A telephoto, a prime, or a smaller focal ranged lens (like the 17-55mm).

    Those that are not wanting to let people know they are taking their pictures, use telephotos.
    Those that are open and honest about what they are doing use a prime or a smaller focal range lens.

    You can still catch decent candids with a prime lens. It's not impossible. Even if you have to be up in the action, and people know you have a camera, chances are they're too busy to stop and pose for you anyway.
    People doing things aren't going to always stop and pose for you just because you have a camera and they notice you taking pictures.
     
  12. DavidSR

    DavidSR TPF Noob!

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    It's sad to say, but in Dallas..the only way of getting a candid is by using a telephoto, but if you don't have a fear of getting shot than I guess a prime will do nicely :)
     

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