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Old 01-08-2005, 02:39 AM
Rinie_Hoff Rinie_Hoff is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,152
Default Re: Taking portraits of strangers - do you compensate them?

Hi Ian, welcome to TE, and welcome to the world of shy people ;-)
I recognize your story, as I share your feelings, but making portraits was such a great wish for me, that it helped me to overcome my shyness. I still take portraits of people who don't know that their picture is taken, because sometimes you see an expression that you will never get when you ask them or know that you take a picture, but in general, I like to ask it.
I never dared to make portraits, but when I came to TE myself and saw so many portraits, I knew that was what I really wanted to learn. I once went hunting with another member, and we tried to take pictures according to a certain list, and on that list were a few shots of people. Then I really thought I had to try (if you want to look it up, the picture is called:'Meet my first model'), and usually people react very kind. What helps is a friendly smile. When I was in a country where I didn't speak the language, I just pointed at my camera, and to them, and they always understood (I am posting pictures right now from my last trip to Russia, Mongolia and China).
In Russia in general people did not like to be photographed, but near Lake Baikal, in a small village, they suddenly agreed, and with the first one I was so surprised that I didn't pay attention to my camera settings, and the picture was a mess.
If you care to look at Darren, he started with taking pictures of guards, they are not allowed, usually, to move or talk, so they can't protest, but I would even be more nervous, doing that. But that's the way HE learned it. Other really great portrait photographers are Claude, Manny, and maciek

Well, this is about how I tried to take more often pictures of people, I more or less pushed myself, may be you can try it yourself too. The worst you can get, is a 'NO', I think.
I wish you good luck.
Rinie
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