Photographer's Blog

Hues of Hue – Make Friends, Shoot Later

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, f/3.5, 24mm, 1/200, ISO 250
A fisherwoman goes about her day 

We marvel at the shots of people in major publications – seemingly captured au naturel. While street photography can be done completely organically, a little set up before releasing the shutter improves your chances of getting that money shot.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, f/5.6, 24mm, 1/8000, ISO 500
A man’s silhouette is captured as he walks past a boat about to set off

 

Direct your subject

As they saying goes, ‘ask and you shall receive’, holds true even for photography. Don’t be afraid to direct your subject (if they are willing) to get your shot. Whether it’s positioning them elsewhere in the frame or directing their eye line, never be afraid to tell them what you want, although do remember to do it politely! Simple sentences like “look over at that tree on the left” or “tilt your head a little” could dramatically change the tone of your shot.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, f/5.6, 24mm, 1/8000, ISO 500
A young lady in traditional Vietnamese garb stands in one of the gates of the citadel

 

Don't be afraid to interact

If you want your subject to look natural, then you have to ensure they feel that way! It’s your job to make them feel at ease, whether it’s by engaging them in simple conversation or just smiling. If that still doesn’t work, show them how it’s done! Get them to mimic your actions or posture so you can capture them the way you want to. 

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, f/2.8, 28mm, 1/5000, ISO 250
An incense stick maker hard at work – she crafts nearly 3000 sticks by hand every day. 

Approach your subject and never forget to introduce yourself – ideally in the ways of whatever country you are in. This helps to break the ice, especially if you don’t speak the local language. Learning some basic words and phrases like ‘hello’ or ‘my name is…’ definitely helps too!

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, f/2.8, 57mm, 1/320, ISO 400
A craftsman diligently carves intricate patterns onto a vase

 

Observe your surroundings

However, if you find yourself in a situation where communication is tricky, then experiment with interesting ways to frame your shot. For example, in the image above, by shooting the craftsman with some of his work in the foreground, it tells the story of what he does and who is, without having to interrupt his process. Look out for elements and texture to add something interesting into your image if their expression or body language isn’t working.

If you want your subject to look natural, then you have to ensure they feel that way!

Read more about the EOS 5D Mark IV here: In Focus: EOS 5D Mark IV

Watch the video here:

 

EOS 5D Mark IV (Body)

Click here for more details

 

EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Click here for more details

 

 

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Justin Mott

Justin is an award-winning documentary, editorial and commercial photographer born in Rhode Island USA and based for over eight years in Southeast Asia. His work has been featured in publications as diverse as The New York Times, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Guardian, BBC, CNN, Bon Appetit, Forbes and numerous other international publications.

justinmott.com

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