People are one of the most popular subjects for photography. Perhaps this is because they mean so much on a personal level. People can provide a positive experience to your travels and make engaging subjects for pictures. There are many different approaches for photographing people from formal portraits to more candid shots. Here are six ways you can photograph people when traveling:
1. People in action
Capturing action is an area in which photography excels above all other art forms. The camera’s ability to freeze dynamic movement is second-to-none. Fast shutter speeds bring successful action photography within easy reach of anyone. You can set the shutter speed according to your subject and its speed of motion.
When people are busy doing an activity, they aren’t inhibited about being photographed because they are so involved with what they are doing. Shoot rapidly to capture people in action and be sure to set a faster shutter speed if shooting in low light.
2. Candid snaps
You can define candid photography as ‘taking photos of people who are unaware that a photo has been taken of them.’ The main principle of candid photography is to capture people acting naturally. Whoever is the focus of your photograph while on your travels will be going about their day without interruption. They are not posed for the camera or performing with your notable presence.
The art of candid photography is similar to street photography where you are trying to take photos without being noticed by your subject. It is enjoyable to do while traveling when everything appears new and exciting.
You can capture people spontaneously from all backgrounds and different walks of life during your travels.
3. Using dramatic lighting
Lighting in people photography can be used to create different effects. Being adventurous with lighting when shooting a portrait can be very rewarding. A little work with positioning and framing is all that is required. Try lighting your subject from different angles and see which you prefer. Vary the poses and seek out different positions. Get in closer for more intimate and emphasized lighting.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with lighting. Use available light to help define your images and use a flash to lighten areas in darker conditions.
4. Characters in a scene
Many individuals find photographing people to be a daunting prospect at first. However, once you overcome your initial fears, it can be hugely rewarding. Outdoor spaces provide interesting places to capture informal shots of people. You can photograph people enjoying themselves or going about their business.
A long-lens with a zoom is a great way to hone in on characters in a scene if you are uncomfortable shooting from nearby. Capturing images from afar doesn’t distract the people in the picture or make them feel self-conscious about being in your photo.
5. Capturing the celebration
The celebration of an event, the spirit of a festival or the jovial atmosphere of a party are relatively straight forward and captivating subjects to photograph. Most participants are likely to be involved in the company of their respective groups and are relaxed about having their picture taken.
Find a vantage point to capture the participants at an event and concentrate on capturing an unposed scene from an observers perspective. If you are photographing a party, enjoy the spectacle and photograph the people getting into the fun of it all.
6. Character-driven portraits
A person’s character is usually all that is needed to make a photograph striking or memorable. Whether this is a person’s face or distinct clothing, both present key elements that make up an individual’s appearance. Character-driven portraits provide an opportunity to capture features that are unique to the person.
Often when you are traveling, you come across people you want to photograph. You may find some people are so full of character that you just have to photograph them. To overcome a person feeling awkward about having their picture taken, keep a distance, so they don’t look too tense or nervous.
Photographing people can be a hugely enjoyable experience. Capturing people through action, candid shots, interesting lighting, character-driven portraits, celebrations, and character-filled scenes will help improve your images. Get out there and take pictures of people during your travels using these tips and share your results with us below.