There are two ways of approaching people photography on the street. One is intrusive and the other one a non intrusive.
Non-intrusive photography involves taking pictures of people in public spaces without drawing too much attention to yourself or disrupting their activities. Photographers using non-intrusive techniques may use longer lenses to capture candid shots of people without getting too close or use techniques like framing and composition to make their presence less noticeable.
In most cases , In non intrusive people photography the photographed subject is unaware to the photographer which gives that calm feeling of observing from a far to the photograph.
5 Examples of non intrusive people photography.
On the other hand, intrusive photography involves getting close to people and actively engaging with them in order to capture the shot. It usually involves shorter focal length and the photographed subject is aware of the photographer. That creates more aggressive feeling , a feeling of participant rather than merely observer. I personally find intrusive photography significantly stronger and that is my preferable way of photography.
5 Examples of intrusive people photography.
Overall, non-intrusive photography is often seen as a more respectful and ethical approach to photographing people in public spaces, while intrusive photography can be more appropriate in certain contexts, such as portrait photography or documentary photography with explicit consent from the subject.
I differ from that opinion. The usage of telephoto lens makes the person completely unaware of your actions. It is almost like you are spying on him, just like on a safari, just instead of zebras you are photographing people. Yes, that probably helps you avoid uncomfortable situations and potential confrontations , but I don’t see it as more ethical.
On the other hand when you are approaching with a short focal distance lens , you are 1-2 meters from the photographed subject and you have nowhere to hide . If you are seen and the person doesn’t want to be photographed he will tell you that , so your conscience is clean , you are doing nothing wrong. Of course if you are pushing the camera in the face and disturbing people you might get confronted , but from my experience it happens very rarely.
Photographing strangers is always a challenge , especially if you are beginner photographer ? To do so I learned how to be invisible while shooting outside. What is your approach ? How do you prefer to photograph people on the streets?
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