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How to take out the camera in the street?

I have a problem with taking photos in the street in my own town. When I'm at holiday it's so much easier. I noticed that when i take out my camera at place where are lot of people I'm taking photo so fast that i can't even set all parameters and compositions because it's sressful for me. Do you have any advice? Have you ever had that problem?


Jan Buchta I think a lot of us know this problem. Street photography is really nice but stressful very often, especially on the begining. I have the same.

I don't know how it works, but when I'm traveling somewhere I don't have this problem.
In hometown, just like you said... I thing I look suspicious when I'm staying on the street, taking camera from my bag and start taking photos of other people. I think there is so many occasions to take interesting street photos on our way to work etc. But i wondering what other people say. Maybe they don't want to be on my photos. But if someone will not be ok with that, he can just tell it you and you will not take this photo. You will take another one.

You can also take a smaller lens on the begining to street photos. You will be less visible.

You can try taking photos from bigger distance.

Advice I heard (or read somewhere) is not worry about what people think. In most cases it is in our head. People don't look on you. Maybe they think you taking photos of buildings or street in general.

So my tip is don't worry about what people say because... they will not say anything in most situations. After some time you will be more brave and you will forget about this stress.

oczamimary Thank you for your answer. I also think that it's only in my head i really try to work on it, because that how you say it's so many occasions to take intresting photo in the street. I'm on the beginning of my adventure with photography, I hope that some day I will don't care about what people say or think and I will taking photo whenever and wherever i would like to, of course with good intention and common sense.

Jan Buchta You're welcome. Good luck on your way. I like think about it something like being a tourist in my own city. Just how we say above, this problem doesn't exist on holiday. Sometimes I try to cheat my brain. People I meet on streets probably don't know that I'm in my city and I'm not a tourist ;)

Marcin K. I am not an expert in this for sure (or any other thing here), but I heard a few things here and there:
- focal length over 100mm + some kind of hide in distance from the subject
- I saw in your EXIF data of one of your photos that you have an Olympus camera. I saw in one of the youtube videos with tips&tricks for photographers that can connect the app on the phone to their camera and hang the camera on the shoulder pointing to the side or to the front. You can look at your phone like you are looking for a route on google maps, but in reality you choose the frame :-)
- just approach the people you want to "shoot" and talk :-)

And yes, I tried several times to go out and take some photos like that and I had the same problem.

oczamimary Thank you for your aswer. I didn't heard about this app before, thanks for recommended! I don't even say about taking photos of people but also nice scenery where is lot of people it's something about what people think, I'm living in town in silesia and it's seems like not beautifull place but for me it's something intresting in that uggly bildings, and i always have this thought in my mind that people wonder why i want to photography this. I know it's stupid and it doesn't metter but i can't get out it of my mind.

Marcin K. Every city, every town, every village has its beauty. People, especially in Poland, undermine the beauty of the place they live in. It is always nicer somewhere else than we are.

The app is I believe.

oczamimary oh, i have it haha, but i didn't know this function, tkank you very much i will try!

bizon I disagree with using some spy phone apps or using using long distance. Such ways make you feel like you did something wrong and strenghten your discomfort.
It's all in your head and the sooner you will feel comfortable with it, the better.
Challenge yourself.
Next time try to take your photo as long as you can. Check all parameters twice, find the best composition, feel this moment and get used to it.
If some people will stare at you, just look at them and smile :) They don't think "don't take photos here you misbeliever!", they are just curious what interested you so much that you want to take a photo.
It's nothing wrong with taking photos in public, you shouldn,t feel like a spy :D

All in all I also have such a problem, even more because my camera looks really bad (it's an usual and ugly digital camera, costed 40 zł), with your Olympus you look like a tourist or professional photographer, not like me :D
Don't worry and remember to smile. It changes a lot :)

oczamimary Thank you for your answer! It’s realy helpfull for me. Everyday since I have Toocapic I’m doing myself a challange. For the time being I’m doing photo in the street by my phone for me it’s a first step, but I must try to don’t worry about people and concentrate on taking good photos my camera. I think that how look your camera it’s not so important, so don’t worry! With not so big equipment, you don’t stand out, so it’s helpfull also. I wish you luck with your photography adventure!

Wiecznie Zielony Look at this video! This guy is an opposite of you (and me). Usually I'm carrying my 55-300 lens with me to take street photos, because I'm afraid to step close to people. Tomorrow, I'm going to take 35mm with me! Hopefully I'll find courage to shoot some faces.

rajmann I watched that - this guy is really incredible :-) But I would be rather careful with sth like that - nowadays, in times of biometric identification, face image is classified as sensitive data and as far as I know (and I'm not a lawyer) is protected by law. In some countries for sth like that you can pay high fine or even be inprisoned. I think, when going somewhere abroad with an idea to make photos of people in public places it is good to check always local legal regulation for not to be suprised then. :-)

Jan Buchta Maybe this guy is brave in street photography but he goes to far, in my opinion. There is the difference between not to be shame and worry about what other people think when we are taking photo and disturbing their own space. That what this guy doing is the second one. Let's not go from extreme to extreme.

Phillip Flores With everyone having a mobile phone these days I do not think people will mind if you are walking around with a camera on your hand and taking time to take a photo. It happened to me once that a girl told me to delete a photo because she thought she was in it. I showed her that I she was not in the photo and I was taking a photo of a sign on the wall. She apologised in a nice way. I read somewhere that people in general do not mind being a photo and if you ask nicely they will more often than not agree. I've tried this once and it worked. I think I have to try this more often.