Overcoming shyness when photographing strangers

Sep 5

It’s something I still struggle with. I see a person in a moment and I want to press the shutter so badly. Sometimes, it can be done without being noticed. Sometimes, I take a chance.

Some people are fine with it. Others aren’t. Such as the street seller in Harlem, NY who told me off big time. “You’re supposed to ask!” Sure, I could have asked but by then the moment would have been gone.

So because I’m shy about pressing the shutter, especially when out and about on my own, I have missed great opportunities. And I don’t want to; not anymore. I’m just gonna do it. Let me be caught and told off and if required, I’ll respectfully delete the picture.

And sometimes, it’s ok to ask and you still get a cool image out of it. Such as this little old man in Colmar. When I saw him, I knew I simply had to take his picture. He just sat there quietly but I could see he was a character. I’m pretty sure he has a few tales to tell.

He didn’t speak English and my conversational French doesn’t cut the mustard but he understood German! When he asked him if I could take his picture he seemed bemused. Like, what makes him so interesting? Why would I want to take his picture?  Well, hellooo – look at you, with your suspenders, walking stick, sunkissed skin and beret!

I’m really glad I asked.


comments +

  1. Cindy Lou

    September 6th, 2012 at 1:14 am

    I’m glad you asked too! He does look like he has a lot of fun stories to share…….I feel like I could just pull up a chair and start chatting with him!

  2. laila

    September 6th, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Anja, what a charming story! And what a gorgeous picture! Your eye and your photography can see beauty everywhere.

  3. Frank

    September 11th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    An exceptional picture – and I´ve been there …

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Photos by anja king





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