Are you feeling embarrassed to take photos in public places? Do you want to feel less awkward and more comfortable taking photos in public? If so, this blog post is for you!
I was recently asked on Instagram Stories:
“Do you find it difficult to shoot in public places for your Instagram photos? I get nervous!” – from Jess from the @thegirlwiththemaps.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been asked this question before, so I figured it was time to share my experiences and what I’ve learned along the way!
At this point of my blogging career, I’m really comfortable taking photos and videos – whether I’m in public or not. But I wasn’t always that way. When I started my blog in college, I was worried about what people might think of me taking photos. But over time, I realized that no one really minded that I was taking photos in parks, at school, and even in coffee shops. The few handful of times I was stopped about taking photos, some people thought I was taking senior photos and others were just curious.
Over the last few years, I’ve embraced being in front of the camera. I’ve found that I feel good and confident when I take photos. I also love experimenting with new angles and finding new places to shoot.
So today I wanted to share a few tips on how you can learn to be comfortable taking photos in public. Here are my lessons learned over the years + tips on how to overcome any embarrassment or nervousness you might have to taking photos in public places!
6 Tips to Help You Get Comfortable Taking Photos in Public
Taking Photos in Public Tip #1: Remember that taking photos is a part of everyday life
Thanks to smartphones and social media, taking photos has become part of everyday life. Chances are you’ve probably taken a selfie or two with your friends, family, and even your pet. You’ve probably also asked a stranger at some point to take a photo of you and a friend on vacation or out to dinner.
You take photos, your friends take photos, the couple sitting next to you at dinner takes photos, and everyone takes photos! Everyone understands that we take photos to document our experiences and preserve our memories with our loved ones.
I’m here to remind you that you AREN’T the only one taking photos in public. When you realize that you aren’t the only one taking photos out in public, it becomes easier to take photos! Next time you’re at a park or at a restaurant, look around you to see who pulls out there phone to take a photo.
Taking Photos in Public Tip #2: People aren’t actually watch you take photos
Because taking photos is normalized in society, people aren’t sitting there staring at others take photos. Some people may initially notice that you are taking photos, but chances are people will move on with their day.
This past summer I worked with Tema Athletics and Laces and Pearls Jewelry for a photo shoot at the University of Washington. I had a massive cluster of balloons I was waving around and shooting with and no one said anything to us!
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Taking Photos in Public Tips #3: Shoot early in the morning or the end of the day
If you’re wanting to shoot at a busy public place, like Pike Place Market or Downtown Seattle, I always recommend shooting early in the morning or at the very end of the day.
I recommend this for two reasons: the first reason is the lighting is better at the beginning and end of the day. And the second reason is there are less crowds. If you aren’t comfortable shooting in front of a lot of people yet, shooting at a time of day where there are less people will help ease your worries!
I also prefer shooting in the morning or end of the day so we aren’t battling crowds and people walking in and out of the frame!
Taking Photos in Public Tip #4: Be considerate of those around you
A key piece of advice I give to anyone learning how to be comfortable shooting in public places is to be considerate of those around you. If you’re taking photos in a busy location, be mindful of the pedestrians or other tourists around you taking photos. If you’re in a restaurant, I would ask the waiter or staff if it’s okay if you snap a few photos of the place.
Tips for taking photos inside restaurants:
I’ve had restaurants be totally fine with me taking photos and other restaurants get upset because my photographer and I were in the way.
- I’ve learned to give the restaurant a heads up if I’m bringing a photographer into the place!
- I also do my best to minimize the time spent taking photos inside a restaurant – literally keeping the photo shoot session to 5-10 min.
- Additionally, I usually buy a drink or food item as a courtesy for taking photos inside the restaurant!
Taking Photos in Public Tip #5: Practice makes perfect
While I’ve taken my blogging journey seriously these last two years, I started shooting for Emma’s Edition four years ago. That means I’ve spent the last four years getting comfortable in front of the camera and learning how to pose. I’m a firm believer that practice makes perfect.
If you really want to learn how to be comfortable in front of the camera, practice, practice, practice! Grab another blogger friend who also needs outfit photos or grab a friend and treat him/her out to coffee in exchange for taking your photos.
Taking Photos in Public Tip#6: Challenge yourself
If you really want to get comfortable taking photos in public places, I challenge you to shoot at a public place once a month. This month shoot at a coffee shop. See if anyone stops you, asks you questions, or if everyone moves along with their day. Next month, shoot at a city park. And the following month, shoot on a city street.
What are your tips for taking photos in public places?
If you want more tips for taking photos, you can also check out:
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Karya Schanilec Photography