Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday Arch Series

This young man and a couple of friends were on the street below the Arch, taking pictures of one another in front of the monument. I wandered by with all my gear hanging off me and offered a suggestion for framing the shots better. Since all my gizmos are like the Official Photographer Badge, they were interested in discussing this and liked the results they got. They were really fun to talk to. This is one of the little tricks. If possible, don't just walk up to someone and ask if you can take their picture (you do ask permission, don't you?). Engage people in conversation about themselves. Never talk about yourself. Things warm up and you get friendly. Only at this point do you say something like, "Gee, that looks really cool. Would it be ok if I took your picture?"

You get permission a very high percentage of the time. I chatted up John from Tuesday's post by asking about his horse, then his job. I asked about his colleague I photographed last summer and we talked about her illness. By then we were very friendly and taking the picture was no problem.

By the way, I've found it very handy to carry photographer mini-cards from You have an assortment of your photos on one side and up to six lines of text on the other. I have my name, email address and URLs for the blog, my Flickr page and my dormant web site. I always tell people that if they email me I will send them a copy of their picture. They love that.

The guy in this picture, his friends and I had a good time together. After we were done it was handshakes all around. Like I said Tuesday, there are ways to do it. Really helps to take a class with someone experienced in approaching people in public for photos.



Mitch said...

Thanks for the tips on approaching people. I have some moo cards, that's a good idea to bring them along. It shows your work too!
Was that quote you you left on my blog yesterday? Was it from Walden?

- Mitch

U "R" Us AKA Captain Crowe said...

Really nice photo and even better reportage today. I need to practice your advice more!

Fredrik said...

I agree with you totally. You must be social to get close to people. Stick a camera in a strangers face and you'll get in trouble. This is a great portrait!

Sally said...

Just love it! I see teens are still wearing their pants down round their - errr - thighs?