Holy Kaw!

All the topics that interest us.

National Geographic explains how to photograph strangers

Are you shy or rude when it comes to taking pictures of strangers. National Geographic photographer Dan Westergen explains what to do.

Full story at National Geographic.

More on Photography.

Photo credit: Dan Westergren

Posted by

22 Comments

  • +Guy Kawasaki ive always will wondered how they pulled this off… Thanks for sharing!

  • Good advice,Guy.

  • +Guy Kawasaki good stuff

  • Great Picture!   +Dan Westergren is a talented man.  His pictures from Kilimanjaro and the Alps are terrific if you haven't seen them.

  • nice baloon

  • Great reading and so true, but also I've found that talking to strangers I photograph to be as fulfilling or close to as taking the photo. Everyone has stories to share and when you speak to a subject you learn as everyone lives a different life.

  • cool…thanks.

  • I'm shy to ask people. Have to give this a try next time out with a camera

  • Useful for San Francisco tourists.  I shoot allot of them with their own cameras, and the love it!

  • I'm liking his vest!!

  • Good advice good read.

  • Nice tips. I've only taken pictures of strangers once during a photo walk and it was pretty fun. It does take me out of my comfort zone though.

  • I once looked up just in time to see a guy walking towards me quickly take a snap while walking through town. He very quickly put his camera down and started looking around like, "hey, what was that flash?" I didn't mind. Kinda flattering really.

  • One of the mysteries of my life answered! Thanks

  • had a conversation the other night on here with some folks about this very subject. it was concerning peoples rights in public places, as to being photographed. one young fellow seemed to think he could just take peoples pictures as he saw fit without any interaction other than him wanting to take the pic. he argued that "no one owns photons" and he could shoot pictures freely as he chose. i merely tried to explain that as a photographer he would always get better results and less resistance if he used a bit of courtesy or manners when taking pictures of folks in public. but i don't think it really sank in. and he didn't seem to think people had a right to be upset if he took thier photo without thier consent. my point to him was that some folks may only voice thier objections, where others may be willing to physically backup thier objections. the guy had a terrible attitude for someone wishing to be a good photographer, an will surely get his equipment and possibly himself injured or broken in the proccess. as i taught my children manners will get you farther in life than rudeness and arrogance. especially when dealing with strangers. not to mention what was said in the article about actually interacting with your subject. it changes everything.

  • I've never had the nerve to do this, but it's given me something to think about! Thanks for sharing Guy.

  • Put your camera up and apologize for nearly crashing them as they were nattering and looking in the other direction, have a laugh with them about it and forget the architecture you were after as a photograph when they suddenly appeared in the scene doorway. That way you make long term good friends and your enemies are confounded. It is never worth it just for a picture you can attain better around the next corner. Most of my good pictures have been superseded except 3 and that means 27,000 are just mediocre according to my standards of:- better photography is enacted by other people.

  • Put your camera up and apologize for nearly crashing them as they were nattering and looking in the other direction, have a laugh with them about it and forget the architecture you were after as a photograph when they suddenly appeared in the scene doorway. That way you make long term good friends and your enemies are confounded. It is never worth it just for a picture you can attain better around the next corner. Most of my good pictures have been superseded except 3 and that means 27,000 are just mediocre according to my standards of:- better photography is enacted by other people.

  • Hi Michael. I'm quite new to Google, so am assuming your response was
    connected to my comment on Guy's photograph! If it was. thank you for your
    response – I'm also a very novice photographer! I shall certainly bear your
    advice in mind. Many thanks.

  • Hi Michael. I'm quite new to Google, so am assuming your response was
    connected to my comment on Guy's photograph! If it was. thank you for your
    response – I'm also a very novice photographer! I shall certainly bear your
    advice in mind. Many thanks.

  • For some reason. That pic looks weird

  • That's great!

Leave a Reply