One of the photographic topics that Jason wanted to cover during his recent one-to-one training was street photography. While I was confident that I could arrange the other shoots he requested – photographing 'found objects', a sunset, and so on – this was the one that I thought might not come off, because it's dependent on things that can't be arranged in advance: finding interesting people to photograph; who are also willing to be photographed; who don't end up looking horribly self-conscious in every shot.
Fortunately, we were lucky enough to meet these two women.
I should add that we hadn't gone out looking for people – we were down at St. Annes to photograph the pier and the sunset – but while we were photographing from the deck of the pier we spotted these two women sitting at its base. One of the things I'm often asked about street photography is how to approach people that you don't know. The simple answer is that you just need to ask, after all, the worst that can happen is that they'll say no. What's really important is that you approach them in a confident way. You don't need to actually be confident, but if you come across as shy, or anxious, or uncertain, then your chances of them agreeing to be photographed will be slim.
In this case Jason made the first approach, after which the conversation went something like this ...
Me: So, you mind if we come down and photograph you then?
Woman on the right: Oh, I don't know, I'm quite shy.
Me: Yeah, right, you look like the shy retiring type.
Woman on the right: [laughs] Do we need to do anything?
Me: Nope, you just need to carry on sitting there looking interesting.
We took a whole range of photographs, of which this is a fairly typical example, and while we shot we chatted about this and that where they were from; the fact that I was over from Bulgaria and that Jason had travelled from Dubai; and a whole range of other stuff. To be honest, I can't really remember much of what we talked about, but that's not important. The key thing is that we talked, and that the experience was a relaxed and pleasant one for all of us.
Anyway, to get back to this shot: it's one of four that I'll be posting, and is probably my third favourite of the set. The next two, which I'll post on Tuesday and Thursday, are my definite favourites, and I'll post the last one on Saturday.
Jason's also posted a shot of one these women here:
4.40pm on 11/4/10|
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM