Glenn Wesley Dulay is a full time workshop supervisor and a freelance photo enthusiast from the Philippines whom is currently based in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
He does portrait, fashion, landscape, food, architectural/establishment, events coverage and on assignment photo shoots. Aside from photography, Glenn is also doing website and graphic design.
Often times Glenn is asked how he approach his subject (model) for a photo shoot? He says all it takes is to simply ask for their permission first.
To share his expertise, Glenn is sharing his insight about some things to consider while doing street portrait photography:
Plan ahead of what you want to capture, and then consider the location and your possible subject. Personally, I often prefer the market scene. There are just so many things happening in the market place. The idea of capturing the different expressions of vendors, retailers, consumers and all the other actions taking place in the market just excites me. The market place is one location that is definitely filled with so much action and characters.
Consider to keep photos in RAW. It allows you the freedom to control over variables such as tone, sharpness, noise, colour and white balance right after the photo shoot. The only downside of which is, having to keep larger image files leaving you with less space in your card.
Take note of the background. Having a neutral background draws the viewers’ interest and attention to your subject. Having a busy background creates distraction of focus.
Always take precaution. If you are to take a photo of an individual, seek for their permission first prior to taking the shot as a gesture of respect. You would not want anyone have a bad impression about you. Be honest of your purpose when asked. Expect rejections and be ready to accept them. Remember to extend appreciation and gratitude even if your subject declined your offer – they invested time in listening and answering on your query. When an acceptance is received from your prospected subject, be grateful and lend them a sincere smile. Provide the necessary assistance to your subject; you would not want to leave them clueless of what needs to be done. Compose your shot, take two or three different variations and show the result with to your subject.
Keep your shutter speed above 1/125sec. when capturing subjects in motion shooting action. This will avoid blur output.
Consider your light source. If you are maximizing the natural sunlight as your main light source, your subject must position facing the light source. If you wish to do it the other way around having the sunlight as your backlit, use a flash or a portable strobe as main light. Lighting is most important in this situation thus you need to always locate the nice soft light and a background that has contrast. Shooting with a shallow depth of field and darker backgrounds always helps. Pay attention on the color of clothing of your subject and see how it adds to the contrast of the background.
Last but not the least, take the least possible amount of photography gear. When I do street portrait, my gear would consist of just a camera, preferred lens, batteries and a memory card – Do not bring your whole luggage of photography paraphernalia.