I’ve been shooting closing in (fast) on fifty years, and to me being a photographer has always been sort of a calling card, a way to introduce myself and meet people all over the world. Lifting up your camera and aiming it at someone hoping to take their portrait is for me, such a small part of the total experience.
If you want to go home with more than a few photos of people you’ve taken either on your vacation, or during a workshop, then I suggest you get to know your subject before moving on. I realize that there might be time restraints especially if you’re traveling with a group of non-photographers. but if you’re on vacation you usually have the time to get to know the people whose country you’re in; isn’t that part of your trip?
Yes I know that they might not understand a word you say, but I’ve never had that problem and I’ve traveled around the world.; of course I try to seek out people that speak at least a few words of English. I have also tried to learn a few expressions in their language, and I can tell you from experience that people are more likely to open up to you if they think you’re trying to communicate with them.
As I said, I’m into the total experience so I enjoy hanging around and eventually even having our photos taken together. I would be hard pressed to think of a better way to spread goodwill around the planet than with a camera. Being in the digital age enables us to share the photo with the people whose photo you just took. Just that one small act can make someone smile and perhaps leave that smile on their face for the rest of the day.
I’ve promoted that idea to everyone that takes my online class with the BPSOP, and especially when I’m traveling with people that are with me in one of my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops. It’s a lot of fun to see how my fellow photographers can get into it and having it be something we remember sitting around in the evening with a glass of wine.
Visit my workshop at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out new workshops as I add them in 2018. Come shoot with me sometime. I have two spots left in my joint workshop with William Yu to photograph the tribal villages and rice terraces in China
Send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.