Sunday, 11 September 2011

Street Portraits

Shoe Salesman

For street scenes I am quite happy to take candid shots. But for "close" people shots like this one I generally don't like sneaking the shot when they are unaware. Nor do I like just shoving the camera in someone's face and taking their picture. Which leaves me one option: ask for permission.

Asking a stranger may sound like a daunting prospect. Until recently, I was a bit apprehensive too. But a trip to a market here got me over that.

First of all - just do it, it truly isn't that hard. Hardly anybody minds being asked, and you will be surprised at how many people are fine with being photographed.

It is easier if you go with a few other photographers. And it is a lot easier in a place like District 4 in Ho Chi Minh City. Formerly notorious as the 'mafia' area in the city, it is still poor. But the people are amazing. Hospitable, friendly, and many are even eager to be photographed. Nice combo with a rich crop in characters and photogenic faces.

Vietnam is a good place in general for people photography for these same reasons, especially outside touristy areas. People like being photographed, and they make for good subjects. And they easily engage with you, making for quite natural portraits. I've had very little trouble with badly posed and stiff pictures here. The only sometimes annoying habit is the V sign. But some people pull that off too:-)

Hi! More Later!

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