Shooting the streets and ask for permission

At last. Ok, not that long time ago, but long enough since I took a photo walk in the streets full of life.

Still a little bit empty in my head after all this headache I have had lately, but my cravings to get out was too strong to hold me back today. Free fall is the best way to try when you not sure.

I was fiddling with my camera settings for a reason I’m not really sure of why, but I did. When I saw a man who was also fiddling with something on the ground. We were both in the same fiddling world. I took a shot, and missed. Everything out of focus. Bulls eye nice conclusion. This is my head. So I really like it bad…

But I can’t make photos like this for the rest of the day (hell yeah! I sure can if I want, but I don’t, not today).

As usually when I want people I go to Gothenburg. But it seems that I have made a routine of to make my last shots in my own backyard on my way home. Wherever I am or go I usually start warming up shooting objects and slowly sneak into aiming for people. Sometimes I shock-treat myself with a stoic confrontation.

And shit how I wish for warmth, and that I didn’t care. But I do. Six, seven months of chilly shit is more than I need. Spring is annoying late.

I made a little project for the day. More or less not so very well thought through, more a spontaneous idea because it felt just right timing in my mood today. But based on something old I have been waiting for a while to make use of. This fucking hesitation is annoying.

Trying to catch the courage to ask for permission to make a photography, more often. I have succeeded doing it before, but very sporadically. So it doesn’t comes naturally. I would like to change that and make it feel just as natural and comfortable as shooting a tree.

I also think that asking strangers for permission is a great way to empower your courage and evolve your street photography in general.

After all, being photographed by a stranger however it occurs, is not a very normal situation. That’s just facts. Getting a strange look or a comment is rather a natural reaction.

Make photography of strangers, but don’t make their thoughts.

People with dogs seems to be very easy to get a yes for permission to make a photography of. They seems to feel proud over the attention together with their beloved.

And I have a feeling of that it’s almost the same with human couples, or friends.

Actually, I have realised that asking is far more less scary. It feels a lot more easy and comfortable than silent but obvious shooting chosen strangers. Even revealing yourself openly with your camera instead of trying to hide and sneak is much more comfortable.

Some people just smile and say yes. Others wonder with a kind and curious attitude. Whatever what reaction I get I immediately usually follow up my request with a why. I’m quite sure they want to know even if they don’t say anything.

But sometimes it happens that I just ask and say thanks with a smile and a thumb up. That works really good too. I always do this when I shoot people without asking. A smile and a thank you is the less you should do when making unexpected photography of strangers.

My most common phrase is based on my true reason. And I would never lie about why. I’m a terrible liar and they would probably see straight thorough me if I lied. If I see someone special I actually tell them that I just happened love people like them and would like to make a photography.

This man really made my day. After I got my shot and was about to walk back in the other direction, he turned around and said thank you ver much. That made my heart beat with a warm smile on my face.

I’m considering of making visit cards to give my strangers I meet and make photos of.

My second highlight was a couple back home in Mölndal. They were friendly but a little suspicious and curious about my intentions, with all rights, I don’t blame them. So I told them my story, in very short terms. It ended in asking if I had a gallery of some kind on the web, so I gladly gave them my blog address. Which was not easy because suddenly I couldn’t remember it and had to pick up my phone.

This was a very nice end of the day.

Next step in asking is to get even closer and maybe do a bunch of shots instead of single shots. But at the same time I like the thrill of only get one shot and try to nail it in only one shot. That gives the photography an unique feeling – the one and only, and I got it. Maybe not perfect, but good enough.

And I would like to try remember using the flash when doing my street portraits. A flash blended with the ambient daylight makes a very nice touch.


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