The travel photographer FAQ’s: How do I get good shots of the locals?

How do I get good shots of the locals?
Good question. It really depends on where you are and what shot you are after. Begin with making sure that your camera is ready for an immediate click! This is essential. Nothing worse than loosing a shot because you weren’t prepared. So lens cap off, camera on and the right settings in place, usually a wide aperture i.e small f stop. If you are after candid shots of people just going about their business then a reasonable size zoom lens is handy and usually if you are far enough away you probably won’t need to ask permission. If you are going to try and get close up then it really is courteous to ask permission and then you may need to have a chat to make them feel comfortable. The trouble then is that they will pose which is often not what you want.I take an initial shot of them posing and then continue chatting and taking pictures which tends to yield more relaxed portraits. Beware of cultural sensitivities – in some countries there’s a believe that you are taking away a part of their soul.

Old women at the Ranipauwa market. Ranipauwa Nepal is also called Muktinath after the sacred site nearby and close to the Tibet border.

Old women at the Ranipauwa market. Ranipauwa Nepal is also called Muktinath after the sacred site nearby and close to the Tibet border.

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