Practice 14


Capture the moment!
Let your subjects be themselves
Shoot a lot
Today spend ten minutes shooting only candids of people you are grateful to have in your life. Photograph one person or more. Ask your subjects to ignore you while going about what they would be doing normally. When photographing people, I always take as many pictures as my subjects will allow, especially when It is a shot that’s important to me and frankly, every photograph I take of a person seems important to me. Maybe it’s a little crazy, but it always is. I suppose that’s why I was lucky as a people photographer. I rarely, if ever, just shoot one or two frames. Hold your camera steady and keep shooting. Digital images cost nothing, so don’t be stingy. Stay as quiet as you can and use the zoom on your camera if you have one.
Try to stay out of the way and let your subjects be themselves. Yes, people will be self-conscious, especially at first. Just joke with them and it will make them more relaxed. Don’t let your mind wander to anything or anyone besides the person you are photographing. Don’t wait for the perfect expression, just keep firing away. The human face changes so quickly, you think you are capturing the perfect shot and painfully often, when you look at your photos, you have not. That’s because there are countless tiny moving parts on the human face. A minuscule drop of an eyelid, a curl in a lip, a slight turn of the head can radically change the way someone looks in a photograph.
The human eye doesn’t pick up the way those small changes, microsecond by microsecond, but your camera will and what might have been a great shot can be terrible. That’s why you hear the lenses of professional photographers almost constantly clicking away when they are on assignment. Shoot a lot. The more comfortable you are using your camera, the better your people shots will be. As you use it more and more, it will feel like a part of your body you don’t have to think about. Be sure to express your gratitude to your subjects as you photograph them. When someone allow us to take their pictures, they are giving us a gift. If we get a good photo, we have a gift to give in return. Don’t forget to say thank you.