What is your approach to street photography with people?

Started Mar 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
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gacetillero Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: What is your approach to street photography with people?

I don't have a Fuji yet, am hanging around this forum obsessing about the X Pro 1, for reasons I'll explain.

I generally shoot street style photography - I'm basically interested in the Martin Parr-style people-not-looking-at-the-camera kind of photography. I want candid, basically - people looking bored at a grand do is often a better representation of the mood than people gurning for the camera.

In London, I use a Ricoh GRD a lot because it's less intrusive and I don't get the pushback I get when shooting with my D700. But when I went on the Foundry photojournalism course in Turkey two years back, I shot with a DSLR and people were generally fine with that. I even got into a bit of a dialogue with some people - hard, when I didn't speak Turkish! - by taking their pictures and coming back the next day with prints. They invited me into their shops and gave me tea and generally put up with me hanging around, then. Some pics here -

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gacetillero/sets/72157624584585032/ - the sequence from the fisherman through the backgammon players and kebab man are the people who invited me in.

But I'm very aware I can't do that in London. I got thrown out of a club for taking photos of my friends with the D700, even though everyone else in there was taking pics with pocket cameras and iPhones, because apparently a big camera made me a pap. And a bouncer tried to beat me up for taking pics of the queue outside a club round the corner from my office - it was only when I said I was a hack that they got a bit wary and backed off. Hence the Ricoh.

I want to see the Fuji X Pro in the flesh, but I'm basically hoping it'll be un-paparazzi enough that I can do more of the take photos, chat, and build a rapport thing, than the who the F are you with that hulking camera thing. If it works well, I'll probably sell most of my Nikon kit and hang on to just a few bits for just in case I ever do make the career change from writing to taking pictures. But even then - I'm always going to be taking pictures slowly, not racing around with my shutter clattering trying to be the first back with pictures, 'cos for me it's always the proper story first, and the proper story takes time. I don't want to be the first to take a photo of the international house of pancakes.... http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/11/photography-as-a-weapon/?ref=opinion

Ach, I'm not answering your question. Confidence is key, and not scaring people is key. Small cameras are generally good for not scaring people, particularly in paranoid countries like the UK, but when people are open to photography - either culturally, like the Istanbullu, or contextually, like so many people in war zones who want their story to be told - then they don't care if you stick a large format camera in front of them, is my impression. And if you act like you're supposed to be taking photos - like it's the most natural thing in the world - that helps too.

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