There are some times when taking photos in public that you just don’t want to attract any attention to yourself, for whatever the reason may be. There are a few ways you can get off some good shots without sticking out like a sore thumb.
If you’ve got a very small camera people don’t tend to notice you. However, the same can often be said if you’ve got a large view camera on a tripod since most passersby assume you’re out taking photos of the local tourist sites and don’t even realize when you’re pushing the shutter because you don’t need to look through lens.
If you’re a published photographer it doesn’t hurt to have a copy of your work with you, especially if you’re trying to talk somebody into letting you take their photo. If they see you’re a legitimate photographer they’ll usually agree.
It can also be helpful if anybody questions you or your motives. The same thing is true of business cards. If you have some on you it shows that you aren’t trying to hide anything.
If somebody does question you while taking shots in public places or even private ones, you can show that you’re not doing anything sinister by introducing yourself.
If you head for the exits then they’ll assume you’re up to no good. If you’re frank with them it usually goes a long way. You can also break the ice by approaching them first and even asking for their help.
If you want to mix in with the crowd and atmosphere you’ll have a better shot at it if you’re dressed like a typical tourist. People don’t usually take a second look at somebody who appears to be taking shots of anything and everything. Some people even use a friend as a decoy. You can pose the person in front of a location and it will look like you’re taking their photo when you may in fact be focusing on something next to them or behind them.
If you’re pretty fast on the draw you’ll be able to take the photos you want and be finished before anybody even notices your there. If you stand there and take five minutes to focus and shoot you’ll attract more attention. You can also set your aperture and shutter speed without looking at the subject. Get all of the levels set while looking elsewhere and then quickly take the photo of your intended subject.
The best way to take photos comfortably is to do so in areas where it’s allowed. However, you’ll often find people will come up to you and say it’s not allowed. It’s a tough spot to be put in, but you’re not breaking any laws by continuing to take your shots. Of course, there could be a moral issue if you’re taking photos of an accident or something else that has caused people to become upset or injured.
If you don’t feel comfortable when taking photos for any reason, but are determined to get them, you can try a few of these suggestions as they might enable you to get your images without anybody noticing what you’re doing. If you’re taking photos on private property, you should always seek permission first.