The Wonderful World of Candid Portrait Photography

by David Geffin

Because most of us fear rejection to some degree, speaking to a complete stranger and asking them for something, let alone asking if you can photograph them, tends to be pretty challenging. I’ve never been one of those naturally confident people but over time I’ve developed some techniques that have provided me with the confidence to work with strangers, which has brought additional benefit when communicating with paying clients.

I’ll outline 15 simple tips which have helped provide a decent platform for exploring candid portrait photography. All the photographs featured are from a brief 20 second or less interaction with complete strangers.

If you enjoy making portraits or are a working portrait photographer, I thoroughly recommend making time to get out of the studio and your comfort zone and make some candid shots of random strangers. Personally, I find it one of the most exciting and rewarding parts of what it means to really make a photograph. I believe having to improvise and interact with strangers on the fly and utilizing whatever gear or natural light you have, will help build your skill set. It’s also a great way to help build confidence and communication skills, and might even give you some new inspiration for what you can do in the studio, or how you communicate with clients and subjects.

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