The photography site for sore eyes. Featuring: Art, photography, performance and theatre. With extra writing because I'm also a writer.
Taking photographs of people can be tough. If you want good results you need to get in peoples faces. It takes a bit of courage, a bit of cheek, a bit of balls.
The problem is that a lot of people don’t like being photographed, especially in their ordinary, everyday lives. This can be a problem if you like photographing people in their ordinary, everyday lives.
Mathematically, there is direct inverse proportion between how ordinary a situation is and the likelihood of someone saying ‘no’ to a picture request. So, if you’re at a music festival you will find people smiling deliriously at you as you snap away. If you are down the high street on a wet Wednesday afternoon people will growl at you because you are obviously a weirdo.
Sadly, you can’t persuade the steadfastly unwilling that a photograph of them dripping wet in their C&A raincoat is just what you’re after.
But there are certain things you can do to give yourself a fighting chance of photographing Britain in its everyday unexcitedness.
Make eye contact, smile and wear a luminous workmen’s jacket can all make things a little bit easier for you.
And there’s also these two quotes from experienced photographers.
In a recent Photography Monthly article, Garry Cook said: “Think like a professional – be like a professional. If you are holding a camera, you are a photographer (at that moment anyway). So don’t shuffle around apologetically.”
And in an interview in the The Times Travel supplement , Martin Parr said: “Behave as if you’ve every right to be there.”
Proof, as if it was needed, that great minds think alike.
NOTE: These photographs were taken on the streets of Bethlehem.