Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Street photography for introverts

Introvert Definition by Urban Dictionary 

An introvert prefers to spend time alone in order to recharge their inner being. An introvert may appear to be shy to others, but that is not necessarily an accurate label. Being among groups of friends, family and even strangers can be wonderfully stimulating and joyous occasions. Interacting with people and attention to multiple sources of stimuli tends to draw down an introvert's energy causing them to eventually withdraw to spend time alone to re-energize. Small talk and pointless conversations tend to draw down an introvert's energy rapidly.

So are you an Introvert?

If your answer was yes, here are some tips for introverts who want to try their hands on Street photography.

1.     Do not try to hide: If you are trying to hide yourself or your camera, you will start getting suspicious looks from the public, which is not a good start. The public who generally wouldn't have even seen you will start taking notice. Stay confident at all times. You have nothing to hide.

2.     Smile: When you smile at a stranger it's most likely that they will smile back and it acts like a good icebreaker. Smiling makes you a friendlier person and it will ease your street photography day.

3.     Information Gathering: Discuss with a friend beforehand who has already visited the area, how his/her first streetwalk was, what to expect and what to avoid.

4.     Buddy up: Go out to the streets with a photographer friend, if they are extroverts, unlike you, it will just make things easier for you, they can help you with talking to the subjects and setting up the scene for you (both of you), you may also observe and learn from your friend's tactics on how easily they approach strangers

5. Photowalks: Join your community's or a famous Instagram page's organized photowalk, where you will be alone (no one knows you) but still part of a crowd of like-minded people. You won't feel awkward taking pictures of strangers, because you are not the only as rest of your team are doing the same. This will boost your confidence.

6.     Keep your camera ready: Keep your camera and gears ready as per the setting required, so that you don't have to waste your time in the field.  If you are a beginner and your first goal is to overcome the fear of street photography and introversion, then always set your camera to program mode (P) and using center focus point, this way when you get an opportunity to click someone’s portrait you don’t have to fiddle your camera settings rather just concentrate on clicking.

7.     Show your camera view screen: After you click a shot, show it to your subject. If they like it well and good, if not they will ask you to click again and you have one more chance to click a different POV/perspective.

8.     Interact with children: It’s always better to start with capturing children, they are more friendly and approachable, this will kickstart your walk

9.     Fear of No: You are afraid that if you ask a complete stranger to shoot him they might say NO, BUT most people will say yes. Just remember if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.

10.  The "10 No" challenge: There is an exercise by ERIC KIM (famous street photographer) The "10 No" challenge, the challenge is to approach random 10 strangers and ask them if it's okay to shoot them and intentionally trying to get REJECTED. This is a win-win situation and it will help you to be less afraid of getting a No or being rejected. Do google “100 STRANGERS” project.

11.  Out of the box: Street photography always does not mean to take portraits and close up of people, you may also create pictures with a different perspective using wider or longer lenses like 70-200 or maybe an 85mm prime, this way you can stand far from the subject and shoot. This will help you produce a completely non-clich├ęd perspective to street photography. It is a good idea to invest in good lenses. (Although this won't help in capturing emotions or intimacy that you wish to capture)

12.  What is the worst that can ever happen: You might be rejected, will be a given a dirty look or be yelled at. That’s it so go for it.

There's no other method to overcome the fear other than to simply do it. It will scare and threaten you initially, it will be clumsy, and actually you will face a hurdle or two, yet you will feel good about it, and feel extremely satisfied  that you did it, even when you knew it's going to be difficult and not at all your first nature.

If you have any questions, please comment below.

Here is an interesting video by Simon Baxter, do watch it.

Have a good day.

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