Nowadays everybody needs photos for something or another. Whether it be a blog, Instagram, promo or whatever we all need photos. Studio photoshoots are great in their own right, but most people don’t want to pay studio prices or the images may be too formal.
Here’s the thing, that leaves you with Mother Nature and creative resources your playground. This all sounds great, ‘yeah, shooting out doors is fine by me’. But when it comes down to it, you (person being photographed) better have some big balls.
You have to be able to keep going and not freeze or feel silly with passers by going about their day. Or people in their cars “having a peek”. Living in social media driven society makes us all nosey parkers who can’t help but stare.
But we still need pictures! I am awful at getting my photograph taken in the nicest of environments so shooting outdoors is hell for me. However when I am the one taking the pictures I absolutely love it. There are ways to minimize the awkwardness of shooting in public places.
The Early Bird.
You have to beat the crowd, the earlier you shoot the better. This works not only for using natural light, which is another story completely. But also for shooting in an inner city location. Some of the best backdrops are in city centres and near sites of interest. So timing is everything.
Have a plan of locations you want to use before the camera comes out. That way when you are shooting there is less faffing about. I know from experience, when you have no plan it’s easy to be underwhelmed and become lax.
Talk talk talk.
Communication is so important. Often people think because a photographer is holding a camera they can’t talk. Discuss your poses and angles, not only because this leads to better shots. It’s a great distraction from paying attention to passers-by.
Yes, public places are for everybody and occasionally you will meet people who are offended by EVERYTHING. If there is not enough space to shoot without blinding people with a flash or extra lighting…. Use your camera phone. Nothing beats high quality digital images but if for some reason it’s super crowded, make sure there is no flash.
Also if you are the one taking pictures…. Don’t overtly snap members of the public. It’s the easiest way to get on someone’s bad side.
These are just ways that I have learned to shoot in public places through the years with minimal aggro.
Where do you like to get photos taken?
Are you camera shy? Let me know.