Several years ago, somehow, I came across a particular YouTube channel hosted by Eric Kim. He was always talking about street photography. It captivated me. I watched as many of his videos as possible. Through Eric I learned about many other photographers who did street photography. Eric taught many different aspects about the genre. He taught about zone / scale focusing, He talked about many different techniques used to capture images of people on the street. Eric talked about using flash. He also talked about how small cameras were “best” for the genre, as smaller cameras seem less “in your face” as one is generally trying to get candid shots of people on the street.

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(Image above was a test shot taken of a photographer that was shooting with me today)

I’ve tried do this type of photography several times before, but with little success. I do like making portraits as that’s what I’ve been commissioned to do for many years now. Now I consider myself a people person as I love photographing people. I love meeting new people, I enjoy people watching out in public, but walking up to strangers and taking a photo of them has just been way out of my comfort zone. Today, November 24, 2017 I decided to give it another shot. I decided I was going to make street portraits. I decided I was going to walk up to strangers and ask permission to make a portrait of them. While this is still somewhat out of my comfort zone as well, I remembered something that Eric taught in several of his videos. He has a challenge where he challenges photographers to go out there and ask strangers permission to make their portrait. But the catch is… you have to try to get 10 people to say no. Well, today I was getting “yes” after “yes” after “yes.” At the end of the day I ended up with only 3 people saying no, which gave me a failure rate of only 15%. Or, if you’re a glass half full type of person, I got a success rate of 75%. Today I met several wonder people as well as a possible future client as one of the guys is in a band who is needing photography. Today was a success and I will definitely be making more street portraits in the future.

Gear used:

  • Bronica ETRS
  • Zenzanon 150mm F3.5 lens
  • Vivitar 285hv flash
  • Neweer wireless flash trigger and receiver
  • Fuji Neopan Acros 100 pushed to 400

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