Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It was an experiment I had wanted to do for over a year. The only thing that stopped me from going out and into the streets of downtown San Antonio was the fear of getting punched in the face by some pedestrian who I happen to be photographing. I was afraid if the pedestrian found out he was being photographed my camera would be ripped from my hands and hurled into the air across the street; then while bouncing off of the curb, the lens would be chipped, and the LCD screen crack as the buttons popped out! A little over dramatic, I know, but I was that nervous! When walking through downtown San Antonio, there's so much action that I don't always know where to start. So I narrowed it down and I chose to focus on two themes: buildings and people in action. 

After reading James' blog, from Digital Photography School, on 7 Steps to Get Over Your Fear of Street Photography, I held on to two main steps. The first step is to look confident and secondly, choose your subject wisely. I had to quickly change my attitude. I reminded myself that my work is good. And even if I don't get any good shots I can always go back and try again, and again, and again. James says when you look confident in what you're doing, people will ignore you. It's when you're nervous that people pick up on your tense and skittish behavior.

Once my confidence was up, I was ready to choose my subjects. In shooting architecture, I am fond of abandoned buildings. I think it's the whole idea behind them being beautiful in their flaws. Whether photographing a bride or even sports teams, I find beauty in imperfections. I wasn't going to photograph any building. Each building had to tell a story. For example, a "road closed" sign is leaning against the building. It's as if there is an imaginary road that should be going through the building, but it's closed. When photographing people I didn't want random people. Again, I wanted to tell a story. The guy picking at his teeth tells me he just had lunch at Subway.

With all that being said, I suggest that if you're going to shoot some street photography have a theme, get yourself pumped up with confidence, and choose your subject wisely and make sure it tells a story.

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