When people say you should just get over yourself and not care what people passing by are thinking of you when you're out taking and/or posing for photos- be it for your private Facebook page, Instagram account, blog or maybe just for your self- it's much easier said than done.
It can feel really uncomfortable and weird to pose in places where you might get an audience you didn't invite to your photo shoot. There's a reason artists are very careful and sensitive about who they let into their studios or rehearsals when they're still in the middle of the process. You need that safety and privacy that the creative space provides so that you can express and try out things uninhibitedly and without having to think about the reactions and opinions of others.
I still get very self conscious when I whip out my camera in public and start taking photos, especially if I'm out by myself and have to pose in front of the tripod, I often just feel vulnerable and kinda silly.
And, I have a MA in performing arts, so this isn't because I'm not comfortable being in the center of attention.
While it's undoubtedly true that just doing it will make it a lot easier with time & practice, I gathered some tips that might help you make the transition from “I just want to disappear from the face of the earth” stage to “bring on the paparazzi, honey” stage when you're out taking photos in public.
1. Choose a spot that isn't so busy
Try to find a place that's not in the middle of the busiest part of town where a lot of people are passing through all the time. Look for smaller streets, court yards and hidden quiet areas in parks.
2. Take someone with you
Having a friend or your insta boyfriend with you can provide support and make the whole thing feela lo less weird and awkward. When there's more of you out taking photos it's easier to stay in your own creative team bubble and not worry so much about what other people think.
3. Go out at times when others aren't
Especially if you live in a city it can be worth trying to avoid times when a lot of people are going to and from work. If possible go out in the middle of the day on a weekday, or really early on a weekend. The streets are calmer and you'll have more room for your creative process.
4. Plan beforehand
Sketching out or planning what type of photos you want to take the night before takes a lot of pressure away from the actual moment of snapping the photos. It will also allow for a more effective photo session as you don't have to consider the whole concept on the spot when you're already out and about.
5. Keep an archive
If I stumble upon a nice looking door or location that I would like to come back to and take some more photos of I often snap a pic of it on my iPhone. That way I always have a backlog of nice spots in my archive that I can go back to and plan my photos around.
6. Lastly, step out of your comfort zone because your goal is worth it
Keep your eye on the goal and your passion, you are out taking this photo because it is important to you, because you have a story and a vision to tell. Remind yourself that anyone walking by and giving you a weird look aren't out there putting themselves on the line and going for it. It's always easier to judge or make fun of someone if you're just sitting on the side of the arena.
And anyways, people are usually busy with their own lives and most often staring into their own phones, most likely they won't even notice what you are up to. The biggest thing keeping us back is sometimes the thoughts in our own heads, and the thing that will help make a difference is just starting out and facing those uncomfortable moments with curiosity :)
How do you feel about taking photos out in public?
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