How To Take a Photograph of a Complete Stranger?
December 14, 2010
“How To Take a Photograph of a Complete Stranger?” Yeah, how do I do this? This is a common question every photographer asks, especially those starting or those into street photography, and like what i’ve mentioned in my previous post on Taking Street Portraits of Randon People the problem is, it’s awkward and uncommon to others.
So should we asks for permission when taking a photograph of a complete stranger we see in the streets? For me, it depends on what type of photograph you want, if you want to stage the shot and you need someone to pose for you, then, it’s just right to ask for permission, but if you want to photograph a moment, that you see while you’re in the streets, then I would say no, you are loosing spontaneity and that precious moment that you wanted to freeze is gone.
If you are worried about legal rights, there is no legal right to privacy when you are in public space / domain, and we don’t have legal obligation to ask for permission as long as we don’t use the photograph in any commercial purposes.
How do I do it? In a busy, crowded environment, like an event or a busy city street, most of the time, I just smile, raised my camera, to signal that I want to take his/her photograph, if they smile and didn’t turn their back on you, then it means, they agree. I think it’s really a matter of how you present yourself in public.
The photo above was taken in Georgetown in DC during the Georgetown Merriment.
Camera Gear :
I hope you found this little tip helpful. If you have any street photography tip, I would be happy to hear them, or if you have questions or any other suggestions, Feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email at.