‘An Invasive Mind: More on Street Photography’


‘Traveling to an unknown city, to an anonymous alley is always fascinating to me; mostly in order to stare at how life goes on! Stepping into a nameless street and sipping a cup of chai in its old bazaar is like a reunion of moments that are treasured in my memory tag! Street photography has unveiled secrets of eccentric daily life and it has always unfolded mystery that my heart aspires for all the time. My camera is my best friend and spending hours and hours along with it in those streets is so addictive that I am compelled to say that the best part of street photography is – you will never ever feel bored’ – GMB Akash

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Where to go?

Anywhere! Here and there or everywhere. Known or unknown. Seen or unseen. Do not calculate which place is convenient and which is not. Be very casual. Start your journey and discover things that you never thought would fascinate you. Keep one thing in mind: every street trip that you will make will be a unique one if only you can merge yourself within the flow of the street.

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How to overcome fear in the street?

It is very obvious that you will be very uncomfortable at the beginning. But after some time you will be okay with it. But of course you have to overcome your fear. You have to overcome the feeling that everyone is noticing you and you might have to face several rejections. Stay focused, accept rejections, enjoy walking and be very confident!

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One gesture to win hearts:

Please smile. Smiling is a kind gesture. It allows you to alleviate nervousness and it makes a connection with your subject. Whenever you are going to take a shot of any person, nod and smile.

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Communicate appropriately:

During street photography don’t talk too much but do talk a little bit. Small words, hello, can I take a picture, wow, great, fine, thanks small words. If you are going to make a long conversation, it happen often that some people might hesitate about your aim. In case you feel a longer conversation could bring out images then do it.

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Handle yourself wisely

Be very confident in the street. Act like a professional. Feel like you have been doing it for many years. When you will be confident then the people around you will feel confident about you. Finally you will face less rejection.

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Introducing yourself to strangers:

You will meet three kinds of people in the street:

a) Persons who are very welcoming about taking images.  You will definitely explore this opportunity more. While meeting them you can feel it easily so it will be very comfortable for you to take images with time and to experiment.

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b) There are some people who hesitant. They will not refuse you or say no to you directly but you can feel a discomfort. Then it is your responsibility to make them comfortable. Greet them, talk about the weather or simple things about yourself and you will discover after few minutes they will be more at ease.

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c) Go away faces. They are very challenging and you have to respect your subject. If they do not approve of taking their pictures you have to respect that without feeling bad. The most you can do tis o make them understand that their images are fully secured and you are an aspiring photographer. Talk to them about your passion and dreams. Even after that if they say NO, just accept it. We cannot force someone to do anything!

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Take a companion:

If you feel very uncertain and discomfort about shooting even after trying hard then ask a friend to accompany you for a few days. Sometimes company can make your street trips easier.

Daily life in Kathmandu, Nepal. 2006

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Never Hesitate:

In street photography there is not much time to waste. You cannot spend a lot of time just for one shot. It is full of capturing decisive moments for capturing. If you get an excellent shot for a moment, do not get time to ask permission. Just click, then you can talk afterward and explain it. If you hesitate the person in front of your camera will hesitate. Never hesitate.

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Learn to understand people and situation:

A great attribute of any kind of photographer is when he/she can understand people. After being experienced in the street you can feel that you actually can understand what a stranger is feeling about you. Slowly you will understand people and their minds. It will help you to deal with any kind of situation in the street.

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I have already shared a few experiences of mine and some advice in the Street Photography Category of this blog. Have a tour if you want to know more about the topic.

Instructor:

I teach street photography for The Compelling Image: The Compelling Image: Online-Interactive Courses in Photography and Multimedia Storytelling

If you are interested in joining my street photography course sign in: Street Photography

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