Skip to main content

Advice for street photographers

This gentleman agreed to pose for me. He wanted to know whether my camera was digital or film. He said he would pose if it was digital but not if it was film. I am not sure exactly what his reasons were.

He was patient and followed my directions on where to stand. Several photographers have asked me how I get people to pose for me. Rather than repeating myself I'd like to refer you to an article I wrote back in May 2005.

I hope it helps you and as always your comments are gratefully received.



Marinko said…
NIce article. Talking with potential models is a most important.
Alex said…
I affraid it's not street photography but typical portrait photography.
Paul Indigo said…
Hi Alex, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm not sure I agree with you though. It depends on your definition of street photography. I had a look at your blog which is excellent.

How do you define street photography? Two of the listed masters of street photography on your blog, HCB and William Klein both took many pictures of people posing for them on the street.

Mark M. Hancock said…
Although I'm not certain, I believe film is taboo because it's a "graven image" while digital is not. It'll be graven if it's ever published on a press, but that's not an immediate problem.
Paul Indigo said…
Thanks Mark.
Alex said…
You right Paul - define a term street photography is the first thing should be done. Well... I believe that this real streetphoto is based on a simple idea to keep the subjects from being aware that they are being photographed. Why? Street photography tends to be ironic, shows a pure vision of something and mainly capture this decisive moment.

If I ask someone to pose for me, or this person noticed that I try to use my camera and have enough time to pose - than it's more like portrait photography, or in some way documentary photography.

I would say that street photography is like sophisticated form of candid photography with special message from photographer :-)
Paul Indigo said…
An interesting debate Alex. I understand where you are coming from.

Where would you place William Klein's iconic image of the boy with the revolver pointing straight at the lens. William asked the boy to look defiant. And what about HCB's picture of the boy carrying the wine bottle, which was also posed. I won't even attempt to list all the examples of street photography where the subject is clearly aware of the photographer.

I think street photography is hard to define but my definition would be photographs taken on the street which are not specially set up and planned beforehand, but are spontaneous moments, where the subject can be aware or unaware of the photographer.

Street photography is about free expression, the photographer interacting with his environment. I think your definition is just a little too narrow for me.

All the best,


Popular posts from this blog

Credit crunch photo software

Taking the plunge.It's good to know that some of the best things in life are still free. Free Linux software, digiKam was used to tweak the above image and prepare it for upload.

Free photo software that delivers image results as good as you get from Photoshop or any of the other paid for packages. Sounds too good to be true. Well I have been researching the possibilities here's what I found for the cash strapped photographer. Very topical, I'm sure you will agree.

The image above of the Sand Piper was processed using digiKam, UFRaw and Gimp.

My mission started two weeks ago when my shiny powerful PC had a hardware malfunction over the weekend. Our other PC was being put to full use so I hauled out my old laptop, 2003 vintage. It worked but was very slow despite a Gig of RAM. It had software driver conflicts and all sorts that needed sorting out. I got more and more frustrated with Windows.

Suddenly I had a light bulb moment. It had been a while since I looked at Linux as an o…

The art of writing a caption

A caption in its simplest form is the the title of an image but usually we mean a bit more. A full caption takes the form of descriptive text, usually a few sentences.

A good caption informs us about the things we cannot see and encourages us to look at an image more closely. There is a relationship of mutual benefit and dependence between a well written caption and an image. The caption can bring an image to life by providing context and meaning. It is also the link between the article/story/text and the image.

Magda Indigo has written a good description of a caption here. I agree with her dislike of "untitled". It does show a certain lack of imagination and is not particularly helpful to the viewer. Creating an image is all about trying to communicate something and the caption is vital to help the audience understand an image. It can hugely enhance the viewers experience.

A good caption is a piece of writing that should be concise, accurate, informative and as carefully craft…

All the different types of photography

Welcome to my blog. While you're here why not browse through my extensive library of articles covering everything from tips on how to do things photographic to help with the mental approach you need to become a successful photographer. You'll also find articles with some of my unconventional views. Yes, I've rattled a view cages in my time. Hope you have as much fun reading them as I did writing them.

You can view my more serious work on

All the different types of photography

With the help of acquaintances on a photographic site I've tried to compile a list of all the different types of photography out there. I'm sure there are many still missing but the list is pretty impressive so far. We have identified around 80 descriptions.

For fun I've highlighted in bold the different types I've done so far...

3D photography
Action photography
Advertising photography
Aerial photography
Amateur photography
Animal photography
Architecture photography