People photography

Catching people’s faces on film when they are doing anything but looking at the camera – this is one of my favorite forms of photography. And among people, I love taking photographs of strangers. Not people I know.
In the bus. The restaurant, talking animatedly to the one opposite them. The laugh at the end of a joke. Lost in thoughts. Browsing through clothes. Books. Smiling to oneself. Leaning on something. Holding hands. Swinging legs. Playing with their hair. Smiling at a text message.
And the liberal use of zoom.
But taking the photograph is not the toughest part. It’s the fact that you need the permission of the person before capturing the shot (or they can sue you or get you arrested for breach of privacy). Catching them at an exhibition or carnival or any public place is the easiest, because photographers are expected there. But other places it’s difficult. Also because of the fact that it’s a stranger tall guy who has taken a ‘liking’ to their kid and wants to take a picture. Ow. Or if it’s a girl whose picture I want to take. That’s the toughest – I break into a sweat and my tongue goes vaguely involuntary.

I had asked a friend – “How do you manage to take photographs of people you don’t know?”
“Well, you smile at them, and just hold up the camera. They smile back and continue what they were doing.”

Well, may be you have a cute smile. I don’t. 🙂 Cause when I smile, for most of them, it’s “Uh oh, strange brown man is taking my photograph.
Or “Uh oh, strange brown man has weird smile. Oh dear God he has a camera!!!

Here is an embed of shots I had taken when people didn’t know about it. Please don’t sue me, I am just a photography hobbyist.

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11 Responses to “People photography”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful pictures…especially the kids’. Reminded me of this enchanting girl I saw at the social security office today…watching her was the only thing I did to kill time for two hours!!
    Though I didn’t exactly get what I was looking for here. 😉

  2. Ankur says:

    hey the slide show is good…. and i like the sepia touch u gave it

  3. Dreamcatcher says:

    Really nice these are. You have a good eye. All these were taken with permission?

  4. Kokonad says:

    Deepika – Thanks! Yeah kids are the best objects for photography in my opinion – but parents are wary of the photographer’s intentions you know!

    Ankur – Thanks! Though these are not sepia, but complete B&W shots. They all were originally in color, but I just decided to make it a B&W slide show. They look really nice in color too…

    DC – Hi DC! 🙂 And thank you! These photos are of people I know, except the ones with non-Indians in them. What these guys didn’t know was that I was photographing them. So that way I didn’t take the snaps with permission, but they are aware that I click around. 🙂

  5. Kolika says:

    concept is good…but focus should have been better specially when you are taking pics of people u know like tista or sunando or amit, you should know when and where to focus, often the eyes are the best place, sometimes the smile or wrinkles around the smile are also excellent composition points. Try it.

    Have fun.

  6. Wanderer says:

    awesome pics… i am impressed how oyou get all pretty girls and cute kids to oblige 😛

    p.s. – thanks for the link

  7. Shubham says:

    Hey Koke. I liked the text more then the pics, no doubt pics are great but ur expression is better.


  8. Dimple says:

    I agree with shubham..the way u described each feeling and expression were better than the pics..:)

  9. A.Vamsi Krishna says:

    that was awesome…I’m impressed..

  10. Kartik Menon says:

    Really great b/w pics….really like the lighting…how did u get people to agree

  11. Amrita says:

    😀 j/k!
    They’re some lovely candids esp of the kids and the women.

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