Portraits of people on the street – what to look for.
Watch your angle..Bend your knees if necessary. Or shoot from above.
I often hear that the best chance for finding an interesting face is on a busy street in a big city and
Best suited for such a project will be prime lens with large maximum aperture, which allows a nice background blur. That is true. But I have taken this portrait in a completely ruined small and disgusting shed far away from busy Dublin City Centre. I just asked this man to pose for me and he agreed.( Lucky me!) I found this shed few days back and was amazed by the fact that the light comes from above from the part of ceiling that suppoposed to be there, but wasn’t existing anymore. I had a Julia Cameron like studio just for myself! With that small difference that she was an elite female photographer. And I am just..: female photographer.
Watch out for the ugly shadows on the face of the model. If possible, use the shade or photograph on cloudy days.
Do not be shy when approaching people. At the beginning is always the hardest. But it pays off.
photographers talk too much about the equipment. I always say thought that a good portrait photographer must be a people person , can’t be distant, Robert Capa always said that if your photograph is not good enough you are not close enough, and therefore the subject at no time may feel exploited. Of course, it almost always interferes with someone’s life, because it is not natural that we approach someone and say that we want to take a picture of them.
It is a bit like in a relationship, you must be honest and the whole situation must be clear from the beginning. When no one feels discomfort when we do not do anything by force, portrait will be brilliant.
Taking portraits of people is a bit like selling a product, we always have to start from such a psychological approach and tame the client a bit. It does not matter if we’re doing a tattooed guy or dad who is walking along with his child. Both are in the moment of privacy, which we will enter, but doing so we are still happy. There is one beauty about being a portraitist: we intrude but never want to hurt anybody, we’re not the paparazzi.