Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why Photographing Hats Can Improve Your Street People Photography

This wasn’t something that I consciously knew, maybe deep down we all tend to know these types of things, but something I discovered while undertaking a new photography project in San Miguel de Allende.

There are many, many ideas to photograph in San Miguel. Doors are a very common theme, I did one last year and one I am continuing this year. I was looking for something different and with the almost constant blue skies and bright sun, even stronger at 6,800 feet, most people if not all the gringos wear hats.

Everyday I walk around photographing almost anything and everything. Great fun and focusing on Hats gave me a new challenge.

I am reserved when it comes to photographing people out and about on the street. I feel reluctant to invade their privacy but deep down I love how people relate and engage the city streets. Here in Mexico, being such a tourist destination, the locals are even more wary of being photographed and many times hide there face or just look away. If a person is not comfortable with their photo being taken I won't take it.

A different type of sun covering

When I photographed street people I tended to hesitate too long (should I or not) with taking the shot and the impromptu moment was lost as they tended to now be aware of the camera.

This man is not praying but doing close-up photography of the cactus

I found out after the fact that when I was just focusing on people's hats I tended to think less of the person and more on the object of the hat. This allowed me to be quicker with the decision to shoot and also it allowed me to shoot more often.

Who wouldn't love this big Mexican hat

Because I was focusing on an object it even allowed me to approach people and ask then if I could photograph them with their hat as this was a project of mine. I think people felt more comfortable in letting me photograph them because I wasn't really just photographing them. It was an inanimate object and somehow that was OK.

A hatted man with lots of hats

I suggest you give yourself a try at this project and see if you don't now photograph more people.

Niels Henriksen

1 comment:

Sue said...

I love your blog. I just wish you would add to it more often. It's nearly a month since your last entry. Come on - make my day.


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