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The Traveling Photographer by Sandra Petrowitz

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12 Opening Up

About Photographing People

Anyone who isn’t blessed with boundless self-confidence and a natural gift of gab will find it difficult to take pictures of strangers at first. I am fairly shy, but I don’t think much of pictures of people taken from far away with a big telephoto lens. All too often such pictures fail to establish a connection between the viewer and the subject, a bond depending on the documented person being able to decide how much or little to reveal about him or herself.

Now what? The only way to get around this issue is stepping out of your comfort zone and, again and again, bringing yourself to ask the stranger if you may take his or her picture. Create some sort of interpersonal contact with an inquiring look, a ...

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