On a recent tour, a client was telling me how much he liked taking photos of people within their environment while he was on holidays overseas and used the classic snake charmer in India as an example. This got me to thinking, surely it is possible to take shots like this without having to jump on a plane (although, maybe not with a snake charmer!)
So, last month, I ran a tour with a photography theme in Melbourne and set this as one of the challenges. Now this by itself is challenging because of the fact that we are working within a familiar environment, which for some creates difficulty in seeing opportunities. To make it even more challenging though, I added other elements into the task that required participants to ask the person questions after taking the photo.
I’m pleased to say, everyone who went on the tour took up this challenge and we all had a loads of fun doing it. There were many great photos taken also.
Aside from the photos though, there were also a number of experiences people shared afterwards. One person said ‘it was nice to interact with someone and not just transact.’ And in our all-too-often fast-paced world of ‘I just wanted to buy that and move on with life’, I think realising the importance of having that connection to others is a great thing.
The other thing that came out of the day that I would like to share is something that I think everyone who participated in this activity experienced at some point – the major challenge with taking any type of photograph involving people (especially strangers) is often not the settings on the camera but overcoming our own reservations about approaching someone we don’t know.
In closing, I want to finish with a quote that I think really sums up the secret of not only people photography but perhaps technology and life as a whole:
It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.
– Alfred Eisenstaedt