How To Photograph Strangers

Approaching strangers on the street and asking them if you can photograph them for your portfolio can be very intimidating for most photographers. Jimmy Hickey, however, almost has the task down to a science and he’s here to share some of his experience with us in the form of a whole slew of helpful hints. Check out the video he made to share his process and results with us:

According to Hickey, you should breakdown your photoshoot into four key segments: the idea, the approach, the creation, and the closing. First things first, you should always have the photograph you want to take envisioned before you even approach your subject. Remember, you are asking someone to give you a piece of their time, when doing so, always try to use it as efficiently as possible.

photographing strangers

When approaching your potential subject it’s important to be friendly and confident at the same time. Without being pushy, explain to them what you are doing and why you want to take their photograph. With practice, you’ll be able to come up with a good opening line that you can use all the time.

stranger photo

“With the right approach very few people will deny you.”

Once your subject agrees to be photographed talk to them, ask them questions about their life. People will tend to relax and become more comfortable with you when they are talking about themselves.

how to photograph strangers

One last bit of advice: don’t be afraid to give direction within reason. More often than not you’re subject will be more than willing to comply, if not relieved.

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