Almost everyday, I get emails from devoted readers asking how I get such great photos of people on the street when I travel. That is a lie. I never get such emails.
But if I did, here are the tips that I would give anyone looking to take better candid photos of people.
Tips for Better Street Photos
1. Drink Alcohol
Drinking lowers your inhibitions so you won’t be as nervous taking photos of people. It is easier to ask someone if you can have their photo if you are drunk, and in general, people respond better to foreigners if they are wasted.
Stalk Follow Around Photogenic People
When photographing wildlife, it is important to learn the habits of animals so that you can see them in their natural habitat hunting, on the move, etc. The same goes with humans.
Do you know a particularly attractive young female with great fashion? Follow her, at a distance of course, to learn her habits. Use a telephoto lens so as not to interrupt her normal routine. As you get more comfortable, use a 50mm lens and get closer. It she notices you following her around everyday, just let her know that you are working on your street photography and I am sure she won’t mind.
3. Photograph Schools
Children are very photogenic. A great way to get candid photos of kids is to hang around playgrounds, especially at recess or after school, and shoot photos. Again, you want candid photos, so use a long lens and blend in. For me, a white van without windows works best for blending in and getting great shots
4. Wear Camo or Black clothes
The best way to blend in, other than the white windowless van, is to wear camo or all black. This will help you get genuine photos of people.
5. Carry a gun
This has nothing to do with photography, but as the American Tea Party and FOX News always say, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Presumably, if you are out taking street photos, following around kids in a white van, drinking alcohol, and you have a gun, you are a good guy. This gun will protect you from the bad people of the world.
To recap: My Five Steps To Better Street Photos
- Drink Alcohol – it breaks down inhibitions
- Follow around photogenic people – learn their habits, get them in their natural environment
- Photograph schools – use a white van as a blind
- Wear Camo or black clothing – to blend in
- Carry a gun – because it is your 2nd amendment right
Which one of these tips will be most useful for you?
Do you have any other tips for street photography?
So basically a guide on how to be a drunk camouflaged stalker with a gun.
What? I don’t know what you read but this is a guide to street photography.
I was just pulling your leg. It was a very good article.
What to do in countries without a second amendement?
Hum…you probably should just take a gun with you anyway and not worry about any laws.
Haha. Could be some tips in the mix for best ways to get arrested. 🙂
You should be okay. Just explain to the anyone who is concerned that you are working on your art and they will understand.
I think you just put yourself on NSA’s list. And, yer gonna hafta get used to traveling by boat as yer now on the “No Fly” list too! 🙂
Since I posted this, my computer has been running very, very slow and there is a crackling noise on my cell phone that wasn’t there before.
Awesome. What could possible go wrong???
Nothing really. Oh, make sure and charge your camera batteries.
Great post! I love your tips. I believe the one I use the most is…drink alcohol. I’m crap at taking pictures though. I leave my husband to that. Perhaps if I use your tips though…
Tip #1 is the most important. Get drunk, take photos could have been the whole post. But trust me, the white van will help also.
Hmmm…I do have pretty good stalker capabilities 🙂 I’ll stalk photogenic people!
Put me down for numbers 1 and 6 for sure! 🙂
But that should be a *windowless* van in number 3 to be a proper perverted serial killer mobile.
That was the best van I could find on short notice but a veteran photographer like you probably has one already 🙂
That combo may have you at some point uttering the famous phrase ” Don’t Tase me Bro”! 🙂
HA HA HA! So true.
The wp daily post today is about tips for photographing people http://wordpress.com/read/post/id/489937/68766/ ….they should have used your guide instead!
Agreed. Mine is much more useful. Think how much better his photos would have been had he been drunk and wearing all black.
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If Im honest, I dont find this guide very useful. Alcohol is a drug – it may well improve your socialising skills, however, it also reduces your analytical mind that you might need for a good shot. The AV-setting also depends on the style you are following. 1.8f has also the disadvantage that you need very good focusing and a target that doesnt move too quickly… And finally, having a gun can also escalate things in certain situations…
Next week I have tips on understanding sarcasm.
…now where can I get a gun and a van…..?
Wal-mart or Ebay.
Or maybe Craigslist.
I enjoy your post!!! so funny and useful! thanks traveler!!!
I am glad you enjoyed and understood the sarcasm. Thanks for reading!