urban/people photography

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Rob A, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. Rob A

    Rob A TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    North Wales
    hey guys, i was thinking of going out and doing some urban photog in the nearest city, but i was just wandering, if i was taking photos of people, do they ever get annoyed and have ago at you or dont they mind you taking pics of them?

    thanks guys
     
  2. ferny

    ferny TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Messages:
    8,115
    Likes Received:
    64
  3. railman44

    railman44 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    To my way of thinking some people could take great offense to their picture being taken without their permission. I think the amount of risk depends upon how close you are to your subject. A zoom shot taken from a short distance reduces this risk considerably. My .02 pesos...
     
  4. loopy

    loopy Brave little froggy...

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Southern Alberta , Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thanks for that link Ferny, it was a good read.

    I've taken the occation street shot, and never had anyone mind. Although from what I've read on the net about Street photographers, many of them say that they only have a couple of problems. I think for the most part, you're good.

    I do think that carrying around business cards, with your web site is important. During the NHL finals last year, I was on the “Red Mile” here in Calgary, on a couple occasions a photographer would come up and hand me card that said my picture might have been taken, with a web address.

    I've always wanted to get more in to street photography. Doxx touched on this briefly and said it was legal to take photos in a public place. I understand that for commercial purposes, you need a model release, but what about for artistic? Let’s say, if I want to put it in a book, sell it as art or post it on the internet?
     
  5. Soulreaver

    Soulreaver TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Sao Paulo, Brasil
    A large camera with big lenses is surely not the way to do it.I think you had better be discrete and use small camera/lenses.
    My rig isn't big,its an F80 with either a 28-105 or a 70-300 on it, but it sure does atract attention.I have been time and again asked either not to take pictures in certain places in the street/buildings or asked if it was for personal use rather than for a publication.
    And ppl with smalish cameras took pictures breezily around undisturbed :D
    I guess its past time to buy that 50mm.
     
  6. walter23

    walter23 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    A pacific island (canada)
    My favorite camera for street shots is a tiny little digital that fits in the palm of my hand. The image quality isn't fantastic, but I can shoot discretely with the thing held at waist-level and fire off tons of shots without spending money for film on poorly framed or blurry shots. The only big problem is the lag before firing, but that can be remedied by using "landscape mode" which sets the focus to the hyperfocal distance or infinity (not sure which) and a small aperture. I just have to be careful not to swing my arms too much, especially in lower light :)
     
  7. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    London
    I have done a large amount of street candid shots and never been caught.... yet! In the UK it might be a bit different to the US, but usually the worst you get is a scowl. In Wales, I'm sure that people won't actually attack you with sticks.

    My best tip for you in this situation is to act like you own the place. Your sense of belonging and confidence will be transferred to your subject and many people will just ignore you.

    Street Photography in Bromley, UK

    Another little trick is to pretend to be taking a picture of someone/thing else - the general public will never know that you are not taking a picture of that red letterbox from 5 feet away with a 200mm lens! Aim over the top of things, round things etc. Gaze at the horizon, do that cheesy thing where you frame a picture with your hands, put on a bit of a performance "Oh, he's taking pictures" should be the image to convey subliminally. Most of all, DON'T look shifty - people will then instinctively become protective of themselves and their friends/family. The only drawback to the above approach I have found, is that people are so polite they will try and get out of your shot, when they don't realise they are the subject!
     
  8. Mumfandc

    Mumfandc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New York City, Chelsea
    Here in NYC, I haven't ever experienced people getting annoyed. Though my friend took a shot of some NYPD cops taking a break outside their headquarters. The police officer approached him and said that he's not respecting their privacy...However, my professor told me that it's supposed to be that if a person is in a public area (where they have no privacy) then you should be able to take candids.

    Though one (STUPID) mistake I did...when I was back home in Jersey, I went to a military base I live near to take a photo mosaic of the hangars. Then about 3 military security guards came up to me in a truck. They took my camera to inspect it, and I had to show them my IDs.

    Luckly I had my college ID, with the photography dept. barcode sticker on it.
     
  9. Mumfandc

    Mumfandc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New York City, Chelsea
    Here in NYC, I haven't ever experienced people getting annoyed. Though my friend took a shot of some NYPD cops taking a break outside their headquarters. The police officer approached him and said that he's not respecting their privacy...However, my professor told me that it's supposed to be that if a person is in a public area (where they have no privacy) then you should be able to take candids.

    Though one (STUPID) mistake I did...when I was back home in Jersey, I went to a military base I live near to take a photo mosaic of the hangars. Then about 3 military security guards came up to me in a truck. They took my camera to inspect it, and I had to show them my IDs.

    Luckly I had my college ID, with the photography dept. barcode sticker on it. :(
     
  10. paul rond

    paul rond TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NYC
    If you are shooting a specific person, keep doing it as you tell them how great they look, then ask if they don't mind. Most people just want to know what you are doing and what the pics will be used for. I always off my site address or ask for an e-mail contact so I can send em scans of the shots. I have sold several pix this way, mostly moms with their kids or guys wanting pix of their girl friends. If they object, apolagize and walk away, don't look back or you'll be asking for trouble.
     
  11. d_the_sandman

    d_the_sandman TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX

    I cosign with this statement. If you act out of place in a big city (looking up at buildings, acting confused and self-aware) you will definitely attract attention from people. You will stand out, regardless of whether you have a camera or not.

    I live in the "ghetto", if you want to call it that...and we have had photographers come to the neighborhood more than once. The first time it was a newspaper photographer who was doing a shoot for a story about gang activity in Austin. He didn't show ANY respect to us...he just acted as if he was shooting animals in the wild. He even asked some of the older guys (I was only about 12) if they would pose with their guns. LOL. He was asked to leave...not in a polite way.

    But the second time...it was a photographer who was putting together a portfolio. He was doing a personal shoot in urban areas around Austin, and he wanted to do a "gang" project. He treated us like people instead of subjects. He came without his camera FIRST...and informed everybody that he wanted to do the shoot. Once he had permission...then he came back with his camera and spent the day, shooting people in natural actions, instead of "poses".

    When shooting people...it's all about respect. It goes a long way.
     
  12. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    In terms of model releases - if you ask someone to pose specifically for you then it is best to talk about it with them and get them to sign one. But sometimes people can start thinking in terms of money. If they think you are going to make money out of it then they will want some. Best to just say 'OK, forget it then' and walk away. If they drop the demands then well and good. Otherwise keep walking.
    If people just happen to be in the street when you take pictures then I wouldn't worry about model releases. There's not a lot they can do. Unless they come over to you and object - play that one by ear.
    There have been lots of street photographers over the years and I know of no specific cases where any of them have ever been sued by people in their photos.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

urban people photography

,
urban photography
,
urban photography locations austin texas