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Thread: Street Photography - Tips? Advice? Experiences

  1. #1
    Member AussieBrent's Avatar
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    Street Photography - Tips? Advice? Experiences

    Hi Guys,

    I have recently been looking at street photography and what can I say it has really blown my mind some of the pictures I have seen and it’s something I would like to pursue. I am a friendly type of person, pretty easy to talk to and laid back although shy at times, I am hoping my personality would help when doing street photography especially when talking to people or putting people at ease when taking photos.

    I saw this the other day on the train I catch home from work and it kind of blew me away here is what happened.

    If you know Melbourne Metro trains there is the seat for the people with special needs there was this beautiful girl sitting there and a guy I see on the morning train and heading home as well always with a nice Canon, nice lens my guessing is he is a semi professional photographer he was waiting at the door as he was pulling up the station he asked this guy to move slightly and started snapping pictures of this beautiful girl on the seat I think he took about 4 or 5.

    He immediately went up to the girl and said something along the lines of your very beautiful and said he was a photographer and asked if he could keep or use the photos she asked what are they for? He just said art and handed her a card must be his details and hoped off the train I thought man this guy has balls I don't think I could ever do that.

    Anyway getting into street photography is not to take pictures of beautiful girls sitting on trains but it got me thinking should I get some of the following:

    A photography card to hand out to people with my details on it?
    A website domain where I can host photos like my own domain name.

    Can the guys here into street photography let me know how they go about people approaching them like any confrontations? Or are most people generally cool about it and do you hand out your details where people can go and see their images?

    Any advice of getting into this would be appreciated

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    But what do you want to do with your "street photos"?

    Well, my recent and humble experience in this activity had me asking to and photographing people (and
    their wares) mainly in street markets and fishing ports. Otherwise I just took general shots in trains and on
    streets. I didn't get my ears boxed, so I'm glad about that.

    This...

    Quote Originally Posted by AussieBrent View Post
    Hi Guys,
    ...I thought man this guy has balls I don't think I could ever do that...
    Cheers
    is one interpretation, I suppose.
    CC, Image editing OK.

  3. #3
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Asking people their permission before taking the shots is generally my motto. Esp homeless etc. I really like a face that shows features that tell a story about the person, rather than the beautiful people. People who's faces show character.

    I find most people are quite willing to let you take their photo.

    I only provide a business card, if asked. You will find that for the homeless etc, a sandwich or other food (I try and get something healthy - even an apple) is good. I have been asked to buy them cigarettes, give them money, etc and I politely decline, and suggest something healthy.

    People will say NO to you, you cannot take that as an affront, but accept that some people do not want their photo taken, and respect that.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Member Iammuc's Avatar
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    For me street photog means capturing a spontanious moment, then if required approach for permission, though like you that part is still new to me. There have been a number of times where i wish i had have snapped away first. I guess its like public speaking, after a while it becomes the norm to approach someone.

    Another point, what's everyones views on taking pictures of people in places like museums and exhibitions and the like. Those types of pics where people stop and appreciate the artworks. I was in paris and wanted to take a picture of the hysterical crowd kicking a frenzy over viewing the painting of the mona lisa. She was like a rock star and they were all her fans. As i stopped to frame the shot the museum worker at first didnt mind untill she saw that there were a couple young underage girls in the front of the crowd she stuck their hand infront of my camera and said no photo's of people. Male + camera + no media tag + m4/3 = pervert? Fair enough but it gets tiring after a while. do you guys get this alot too? and how do you avoid it, other than blacklisting children and women in your shots.
    Last edited by Iammuc; 21-11-2011 at 1:20pm.

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    I do loads of street but have never interacted with any of my subjects. Some know they were taken, some don't. Those that do i always give a friendly thumbs up and smile and make on my merry way, till date no one has objected to their photo taken.

    IMO the scenario where the guy gave the name card is to either to get to know the girl, promote his business, or both.

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    Well this one time recently I was on a train in Melbourne, and just before a stop I spotted this beautiful girl and went up and took her photo, I handed her my card and left.

    Oh wait, you spotted me!


    ..kidding, I don't have the confidence to start street photography. I don't take rejection so well! But one of my good mates did a couple of street photography sessions over Sydney.

    Most of them were candids, taken in crowds or at a distance. Some were portraits of people in front of walls, buildings or just on the street. He approached people who dressed and styled differently to the norm, and politely asked them. He handed them a business card afterwards as well. He said he was declined politely and some people scoffed and were quite rude. He told me it disheartened him a lot, but he just had to remember his goal and go through. After a few people said yes, it boosted his confidence with it a lot.

    So basically what I gathered from his story, was just be confident with it, ask politely, and have fun with it. If people decline, that's okay, think of how many people are out there. You're bound to get a decent number of people happy with it!

    Decided to "shave" my signature ;]
    Now mostly shoots with: Canon 5D MK3 & Canon 24-70 f/2.8/50mm f/1.8 (also have a 550D with a variety of lenses/goodies and a Sony Nex-5N)
    PP with: Lightroom only, Photoshop is merely a 9-5 work tool for me.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider is location and time. No use trying to stop a person in a business suit at 8.15am as they stride down an inner city street. They are focused on getting to work, and most will not like being interrupted to be asked if you can take their photo, so in that instance, keep back and take the shots, without asking them. But if a couple are sitting together on a bench chatting, and you go up near them and start taking photos, they may just feel their private time is being invaded. So my post here is about, thinking about the environment and timing of your street photography and work WITH you subjects and ask, or do not ask, get in close or keep back and use a longer lens, based on the environment, timing subjects of your street photography endeavours. There is no right or wrong way to do it!

  8. #8
    Member Sanka's Avatar
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    I´m just wondering, what´s the policy about taking photos in the streets, i mean, if i take photo of someone who doesn´t know about it and use it for instance in some competition needs, would be possibility if he find out would sue me for some reason?

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    No, not unless you use image commercially to say endorse a product.....even then there's some debate unless you're a celebrity
    Darren
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  10. #10
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanka View Post
    I´m just wondering, what´s the policy about taking photos in the streets, i mean, if i take photo of someone who doesn´t know about it and use it for instance in some competition needs, would be possibility if he find out would sue me for some reason?
    It's a long read, though if you're really concerned it probably answers most questions.......http://4020.net/words/photorights.php
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S, a speedlite, a tripod, a monopod, a remote release and a padded bag to carry things in.

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    AussieBrent's Avatar
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    thanks guys for the replies!

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