<<< o >>>body art #1 10 comments + add yours

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:


focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
plugins (etc)
4.40pm on 11/4/10
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
aperture priority
3x2 + people [portraiture] + no print + show the original
comment by daniel at 06:15 AM (GMT) on 19 April, 2010

british women...

comment by Chris at 06:46 AM (GMT) on 19 April, 2010

It seems that you always manage to find someone that is unique and interesting. The two girls definitely seem interesting and having a good time.

comment by Nicki at 08:07 AM (GMT) on 19 April, 2010

Whoooooo - I like this shot. You should do more stuff like this, to rarely I think. These girls are what I like, absolute. A really great capture my friend!

comment by Cool at 11:01 AM (GMT) on 19 April, 2010

So, do you need to get a signed release for photographs like this? I can imagine that would complicate the conversation.

Cool shot, by the way.

comment by Carlos Garcia at 12:49 PM (GMT) on 19 April, 2010

Color...very nice! You captured such a wonderful moment between these two women :)

comment by Dan Kaufman at 02:29 PM (GMT) on 19 April, 2010

I agree with the "How to ask..." conundrum for street photography. And whole-heartedly agree with Dave's advice: Just ask, and ask with enthusiastic confidence. What have you got to lose--you already don't have their picture? You've got everything to gain...and might you make a new friend.

For the "Painted Ladies" ... I think Jason did a great job. I really like vibrance of the colors, and especially the off-kilter horizon composition !!

comment by irwan at 03:22 PM (GMT) on 19 April, 2010

great moment! nice colour

comment by Jason at 08:34 PM (GMT) on 19 April, 2010

This is such a natural photograph that really captures and portrays the moment perfectly :)

comment by Jimmy at 09:55 PM (GMT) on 19 April, 2010

"....and it was only this big, so I had to leave him."

What, not a caption competition?

comment by djn1 at 05:14 AM (GMT) on 20 April, 2010

Thanks everyone.

Jimmy: yes, a caption competition would have been a good idea :)