Feeling a little self conscious

Alex_B

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guess i am some of the lucky ones since I actually ENJOY if people stare at me and wonder what I am up to. I even enjoy the discussions with the security guards or whomever.

once I got some very curious looks when i photographed someones garbage in front of his house which was about to be collected ;) I think the whole neighborhood there stared at me through their windows ;)
 

Wozza

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I'm usually not bothered. At night I feel a bit shady if I have to walk past a car with a couple obviously getting it on in there and get past asap.

The other night was pretty random, I had my DSLR on a tripod doing some nightshots of a post office and a car pulls up at midnight and some older guy comes out. We both said 'good evening' and he walked past, checked his pobox and drove off again without giving me a second look.
 

Neuner

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After the crazy things I've done in my life I really don't get self conscious anymore. There are a lot more embarrassing things one can do than photography amongst a crowd. It's now my Wife who I think is embarrassed or gets frustrated with me because of stopping to pop off some shots. When you have 3 kids under the age of 3 you don't get that many opportunities when you spend most of your time juggling duties.
 

Bevel Heaven

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The Good Ol Daze. Below is former Ducati racer and AFM 175 & 250 Champion in 1960 - Frank Scurria - sitting atop his 175 F3 in 1960 and then again on a virtually identical bike he helped restore in 2005 during the MotoGP race at Laguna Seca on Ducati Island in front of the museo I organized each year for Ducati North America. Frank was on hand to sign autographs and tell stories.... Anyways, I was siting there watching people and saw this kid with his mom that looked almost identical to the kid in the 60s photo so I showed his mom the old photo then asked her if I could shoot the kid with Frank etc. I had to go find Frank, I had to pull out that F3 bike from inside the museo then had to set up the shot. People are standing around watching, I am directing the kid, and frank, and before I can get off any shots, there are like 10 guys pulling out their camera and getting in my way! You gotta be kidding! So I start telling folks to back off and stay the hell outta my way, that I gotta a JOB to do etc......... Anyways, what doyou think? I got it pretty close there, considering I was under presure to get er done

oldfrank.jpg


newfrank.jpg
 

thebeatpoet

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The only times I've really felt self-conscious is while shooting scenes of poverty. When I traveled through Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal several people told me how much they hated photographers only taking pictures of despairing situations. That the photographer would bias everyone's view of the country, and was bloodsucking from people who were already down and hurting. That would be very true if the "only" pictures that were taken were of the poverty, and even though that was not even close to the only thing I was shooting I still felt very self-conscious and even a little guilty. To the point where I would pass by amazing pictures because I felt too out of place.
 

Stranger

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At first this bothered me as well. Then i got my lens reversal kit and had to get over that quickly.

Moving slowly on my knees through plants looking for bugs gets a lot of attention in a public park.(who would have thought)

I would often hear little kids asking their parents "what is that man doing?"

I learned to bring my IPod and zone it out.
 

slickhare

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Hey Guys,

I want to take my camera everywhere, but for some reason I feel self conscious! I feel like people are watching wondering what I'm up to when I take photos of random stuff.

I'm sure this has cropped up loads, but I cant find anything in the search.

Especially when I have a tripod or am spending time getting the right shot.

Do any of you feel self conscious? Do you ignore it or do you have ways of dealing with it?

Any thoughts and suggestions welcome :)

Cheers,
Steve.

I understand how you feel. Really the best thing I can suggest is just to keep on going out there. Eventually you'll gain a certain confidence in your skill that will help you to just unabashedly take pictures.

Or you could just always have an external flash attached, it makes you look pro ;)
 

ZooGuy1492

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Most of the posts in this thread talk about a fear of taking pictures in public places or about people looking at them, but my question is when is it inappropriate to take pictures in a public place?

I was recently on vacation (alone) and visited a museum that kids would be interested in (but also adults). The place describes itself as “eclectic mixture of children's playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects.” They had allot of visually interesting items in the building including the old Big-Boy Drive-Thru statue, an in-door skate board arena, a large train set, a retro diner and much more.

With all that said, I took a picture of a kid (about 10-12 years old) climbing through a cage and up the wall (yes.. it is a strange place).. Shortly after I took the picture, I had a parent in my face asking me why I took a picture of his kid. I told him I'm an amateur photographer.. This didn’t calm him down. He kept asking me why I took a picture of his kid. Twice, I offered to delete the (digital) picture, but he ignored me. He eventually stopped yelling at me.

However, a little while later, I saw him talking to a few staff people. I thought he was talking about me. He was complaining about me being alone and taking pictures and that I was suspicious. A short time later, I found myself being followed by one of the staff people.

After an hour of being followed, I confronted the staff person and asked her if she was following me. She said yes and she wasn't seeing me doing anything wrong but was still keeping an eye on everybody (me in particular ) to protect the kids.

My question is, when is it not appropriate to take pictures. Clearly, I could have asked a parent if I could take the picture but I had no idea who the parent was and so much for spontaneous pictures.

As others have said in this thread, if you are outside, you might get some strange looks but nobody would say anything. What if I zoomed in on a few people in an outside picture. What if I took an outside closeup picture. Is that inappropriate?

I've been taking pictures for 30 years now and more now than every I'm having trouble understanding what pictures are inappropriate with all the security concerns and overly protective people.

Can somebody help me? When I'm traveling alone, how do I take "people" pictures.
 

itskub

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street photography happens to be my most liked genre. the weird thing is in high school, when i first started shooting with a SLR, i had no problems walking right up to people and taking a picture. now, a couple years later, i do feel self conscious walking around with a tiny digital point and shoot. im not sure why that is.

another thing is, i find it easier to photograph "street" people (thugs,etc) then i do the people in chinatown. (have no idea what theyre saying to me)
 

The Phototron

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That depends on the subject's point of view and your appearance (hate to admit that, but it's true).

Some people can tolerate strangers taking pictures of them or their kids. And some will not. There's not many ways to go about it, and it's not about your skill as a photographer, but as a social/persuasive person (it's substantially easier for attractive people).

By the way, people you are pointing your camera at are definitely more "self-conscious" than you are behind the camera.
 

Bevel Heaven

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OK I will come right out and say it. If you look like a perv, and/or act wierd, and have a camera, and are around kids and you are taking pictures....... These days everyone is just so protective [as they should be] of their kids.... You are asking for trouble. Sign of the times now I guess. No matter how innocent it all is.

If you are going to be taking photos in an amusement park, kid museo or something specifically attractive to kids, you are asking for trouble if you dohn;t first off, go to management and get permission to do so. Of course, if you have YOUR kid with youand/or your wife, and you are taking photos, noone will notice what you are doing or care either.

Scary man with a camera outside the school fence - bad. :er:

Times are changing, noone seems to trust anyone, some like to cry FOUL at EVERYTHING they don;t understand or know anything about. You are going to have to find a way to not be 'that scary man' if you insist on taking photos of kids in a public place. Or just pick a different subject that doesn;t involve kids or where kids play.

Sign of the times.
 

The Phototron

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OK I will come right out and say it. If you look like a perv, and/or act wierd, and have a camera, and are around kids and you are taking pictures....... These days everyone is just so protective [as they should be] of their kids.... You are asking for trouble. Sign of the times now I guess. No matter how innocent it all is.

If you are going to be taking photos in an amusement park, kid museo or something specifically attractive to kids, you are asking for trouble if you dohn;t first off, go to management and get permission to do so. Of course, if you have YOUR kid with youand/or your wife, and you are taking photos, noone will notice what you are doing or care either.

Scary man with a camera outside the school fence - bad. :er:

Times are changing, noone seems to trust anyone, some like to cry FOUL at EVERYTHING they don;t understand or know anything about. You are going to have to find a way to not be 'that scary man' if you insist on taking photos of kids in a public place. Or just pick a different subject that doesn;t involve kids or where kids play.

Sign of the times.
Lol...it has always been like that. It's an evolutionary trait, suspicion helps survival.
 

ZooGuy1492

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Scary man with a camera outside the school fence - bad. :er:
I understand this.. But I wouldn't classify my apparence as "scary man".. When I explained this situation to somebody else, they told me that her husband was taking pictures at a playground and she noticed a mother getting uncomfortable with the pictures and told the husband to stop taking pictures.. The husband is a VP to a bank.

It's my opinion that no matter how you look, people get uncomfortable with taking pictures of them especially of kids. The closer you are to the subject, the more the problem. More problems indoors than outdoors.

So how can you take "social" pictures without getting in trouble... I generally take pictures of wildlife or landscapes but would occasionally like to take pictures of people.

Everybody in this thread talks about "being uncomfortable" walking around in a social setting with a camera but I assume the subjects are even more uncomfortable with you taking a picture of them. How do you handle this?
 

RyanLilly

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"The City Museum" in St.Louis? (I just looked up the description and this is the place that ZooGuy is talking about.)

If that is the place, than I must say that its fun for kids during the day, but on friday and saturday nights its mostly adults Drinking a few brews and climbing around all of that crazy fun stuff. Actually I have never brought my camera there, spending all my time having fun and no time to take pictures.

Take a look at there website and the photo tour
http://www.citymuseum.org/home.asp

One of the coolest places in St. Louis IMHO.

and if people as why you are taking pictures, just say "What? Can't you see how cool this place is?"
 

JerryPH

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I can take an hour walking 6 city blocks through downtown Ottawa (hardly an inspiring landscape) if I have my camera with me. I could quickly become jobless/friendless if I had her with me all the time.

Ottawa is literally rich with great photo opportunities downtown, I've been there many times on business and pleasure (I live 200km away in Montreal). Even standing out on the balcony shooting the office buildings or down, shooting the people as they chug along going to where ever it is they are going, that place has near unlimited potential for good shots.

Just the parliment buildings area is a place I could spend days at alone!

The first time I took my D200 and 17-200 to a place where I was going to be noticed was the opening of a local mall. Outside there was a rock band so I walked up, past the guard, who nodded, and I started shooting. People moved over for me, and I am sure EVERYONE of the 1500 people were watching me, as I moved up within a few feet of the stage and was snapping away getting great pics. I did not use the flash, even though it was mounted on the camera... I recall at the time thinking that this would be rude... even if it would have given me even better pics.

I felt self-conscious, but not embarrassed or scared or anything. Now, when people look at me, I feel the same with or without the camera... normal. I smile and move on. If someone talks to me, I am polite and answer back with a smile.

I've even met a couple of very lovely ladies with D200's that resulted in a few very nice and interesting dates. We sure had a LOT to talk about.

Don't be afraid, you are not doing anything wrong when you carry your camera. If you act afraid and people see this, they will assume you are doing something you are not supposed to. Be confident but not arrogant. Like I always say... have fun and enjoy!
 

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