Guest post from Mark James @ On My Wall
A stroll around the metropolitan city can be a live wire. It is full of activity, and each scene is worth a portrait if you understand their mood and sentiment. Among the hustle and bustle of the city life, you may find a loner enjoying his privacy yet keeping an eye on the happenings around him. This stranger can be a suitable model for your urban portrait. There are many nuances to understand before starting with urban portrait photography. It is unlike wedding photography or sports photography where the subjects are defined. In urban photography, the subject can be a stranger and yet convey a lot of messages.
While starting with urban photography ensure that you go with an open mind. While approaching a stranger always be cautious. It is important to adhere to some safety standards. Photographing people living on the street comes with a big risk. Be prepared and do not leave things to chance. Camera equipment is expensive, and the city poses the danger of theft. It is important to keep your gears careful. People you may try to photograph may be in an inebriated condition or with poor mental health. This can lead to unexpected behavior, and there is a chance you may be hurt in the process. So be twice careful while dealing with street dwellers.
Safety is the top priority when you are in an urban environment. Ensure that you are not in isolated areas. Always take a friend along with you to keep guard while you focus on the subject. Keep you cell phone ready to call the police during an emergency. Before approaching a stranger try to read their body language. Learn some basics on body postures. Those who turn away from you or refuse to meet your looks are those who want to be left alone. Do not force yourself on them and just move away to new targets. Also, remember not to contact people who are mentally retarded.
Always remember that safety matters and keep a partner with you. Always stay a few feet away from people while talking to them. Do not forget to make eye contact before approaching them. This will help them keep aware that you are watching them. Always know your surroundings. In case, you feel an uncomfortable move away from the place. While considering street portrait ensure you have the right gears in place.
Keep a DSLR and appropriate lens. Keep traveling light and monopod in case the weather is gloomy. For close up portraits, it is essential to keep medium zoom lens. Avoid flash if you are considering environmental portraits. This is because flash can be distracting while taking a photograph. Natural light can guarantee high quality results. Though tireless efforts matter for urban portrait photography, the results are amazing.