On Sunday, I met up with photographer Alex Beadon for a project that has now been named, ‘Strangers Project’.
We connected via Twitter and Alex invited me to a meetup in London. As luck had it, we both organised separate meet-ups with other photographers on the same day too. (See next blog post, coming soon ‘TweetUpMeetUp’). Therefore we decided to meet up beforehand for a catch up, a quick coffee and the opportunity to shoot too. Alex’s idea was to shoot portaits of people on the street and I was really up for doing this. (I’m hoping in the future to one day get the guts to even try some strobist stuff).
So we had an hour to shoot in Covent Garden and here’s some tips on what we did:-
– First we quick location scout for possible areas to shoot in, took some test shots, understanding the light and tried out a few compositions
– We found a great spot and used some old chewing gum (already on the floor) as our ”marker” for passers by to hover over for each shot. This spot ensured they were in the shade and not in direct sunlight (no squinting).
– We then waited for people to stroll by and we asked them politely if they would mind us taking their photo for our personal project. I won’t lie, this was hard and we had a few rejections. But we kept going and soon had a taker!
Here are a few other tips for asking people if you can take their photo:
– Never approach someone from behind and tap them on the shoulder (its just plain creepy)
– Try not to approach someone head on, approach instead from the side, or at an angle (learnt this from my corporate days! .. its a bit confrontational walking directly up to someone)
– If they say no, smile, wish them a good day and wait for the next person
– Shoot with a friend or another photographer. This kept our spirits up and we were able to move on after any rejections
– If they say yes to a photo, then RESULT! Hide your excitement, grab your camera, ask them to stand in the actual area you’d like them to be in (explain why) and then take a shot
– Thank them (a lot!) for the opportunity to capture them on camera and hand them a business card.
– Offer everyone a copy of the image if they email you
– Be patient
(please feel free to add more if you have done this before too!!)
If I took your shot on Sunday, Thank you for allowing me to do so. I’ll gladly send you the file in high resolution – drop me an email to info[@]sachinkhona[.]com!
I was super nervous about this but soon gained confidence to just ask anyone and everyone. I had so much fun, connected with so many Londoners and I’m really happy with the results.
Thanks for the man who kindly first said yes to us after we suffered a few rejections, and especially the very polite, non English speaking older gentleman from Japan who said no, but then came back and said yes! You are a star!!
Below are some of my favourite from the day…
Info on shots: All shot with Canon 5D, using 50mm f/1.8 lens – ISO 400 throughout, Aperture was 2.2 or 2.4 and Shutter Speeds started at 1/400 then to 1/800 and finally 1/1000 as it got brighter during the morning. You can see this info however on the images in the gallery. Let me know if you have any queries…
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU
Here are the images, all in order, 34 shots in 64 minutes in a Gallery :-
Reviewing these pictures make me smile and proud! Thanks Alex for getting me off my butt and doing this!