How many images have you made of yourself? If you want to make pictures of people in the studio, on the street candid or staged then a good place to start is with yourself. Strangely if you spend some time doing this you’ll find that you are more at ease taking other peoples picture. When photographing people you have to interact. Don’t hang around on the fringes with a long lens, you’ll look suspicious and people will notice you. If get closer you put someone at ease, I always have my camera in my hand or round my neck and don’t hide it. Just be honest about what you’re doing and speak to people, you never know who you’ll meet.


I do occasionally shoot in a studio but I spend most of my time in the City Centre. I tend to be in the same location a lot (near my car) so can see opportunities develop. I don’t see myself as a street photographer, although a lot of my images could be placed in this category. I attempt to document the world as I see it, so if any label is applicable, it’s Documentary photographer.


I am only out of the house for short periods of time and tend to socialise when I can. Interacting with people is part of this which presents opportunities to photograph people. Roughly two thirds of my people project are candid opportunistic shots, the rest are staged after speaking to the person. Remember the wider your lens, the closer you can get. 35mm is a great starting point for this. You can go wider but if you’re shooting with a 28mm lens, then you need to be one arms length away. If you shoot longer than 50mm then the image has less connection with the viewer. 35mm and less give you a feeling of inclusion. There’s a good article on the subject by Sebastian Jacobitz here


To greatly increase your chances of making images like this always carry your camera with you. Use one camera and one lens (Fujifilm XT-1 and 23mm f2 lens in my case), get to know the settings so you can change them Instinctively. Using only one lens will allow you to quickly frame when you see and opportunity, as you subconsciously get used to the frame lines. This is another reason to stick to one focal length as changing lenses alters the frame lines and makes it less instinctive.




Click here to see the People Project in my Portfolio.

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