The biggest fear in street photography
I’d say that 99% of the fear and anxiety taking photos of strangers
comes from inside you, not from the outside.
Requests to delete the photos
Advice to help you be invisible
I have tried different tips and techniques that you can find on the internet, most of them from Eric Kim (one of the biggest street photographers of our time) and from other photographers like Bruce Gilden, among others.
Here is a list of different things people do and my opinion about each of them.
The shooting from the hip technique
Shooting from the hip doesn’t allow you to decide, you are just finding something interesting and trying to get lucky pressing the shutter. Let’s be honest, if you want to get good photos don’t do this. Street photography isn’t easy, so you need to be confident and earn the photo. Last but not least it looks pretty shady having your camera on your chest and pressing the shutter when you see something.
Here is my advice to avoid shooting from the hip to give you a better result. What you can do is walk with your camera around like you are shooting a video, people will think that you are just a tourist and won’t care that much what you are doing.
In case you are shooting in the middle of the city my recommendation would be always dark clothes rather than brighter ones. People won’t notice you that much, and if you want to capture candid moments that’s what you need to blend in more.
Camera and equipment go as light as possible
When you are shooting street photography you want to be as invisible as possible, that’s why months later I decided to buy another camera (Ricoh GR II). The advantage of this camera is the fact that it’s super small and I can carry it around all the time. Now I take photos every day, and that helps have no regrets when I see something that I want to shoot.
My personal experience
I’ve experienced more problems taking photos of rich people than poor people. Which is funny to me, people who have less are seemingly willing to give more than those who have everything.
In the image above you can see my portrait of a man with tattoos on his face. When I saw him I was by myself and I wished to take his photo. I won’t lie to you I was afraid. Taking photos of people doing drugs or in bad situations is not easy. I get too close emotionally sometimes and feel bad for taking photos of them, like I am stealing something from people who have nothing. But in these cases you need to be strong and see photography not as a weapon but as a way to capture something beautiful and exciting to you. Back to the point, I saw this man and I hesitated taking the picture or not, but eventualy I did.
I asked him, “Excuse me, I really like the tattoos on your face and I would like to take your portrait, do you mind?”. (Always compliment your subject, it gives you a reason for taking the photo.) The man looked at me seriously and said, “Just one, do it fast because I’m mad.” So I took the photo as fast as I could and after thanking him I left and continued taking photos of other people.
Be brave but also be safe