Capturing the essence of people, is the heart & soul of any country we travel to . To me photographing people is the most interesting yet most delicate to capture.
If only it was as easy as shooting a landscape ,a beautiful building or piece of art. With people ,there is a direct approach or the candid shots artists should not avoid. Direct approach is quite hard for me.
Portrait photography is usually head shots of your subject but when travelling you have to find a connection with them. It is important to speak to them& learn about them, their country. Find their passions or motivations ; a secret recipe to delve into their soul.
Capturing great portraits during your travel, communication is the key element.
Environmental photography is capturing the subject within their environment. The subject can be working at a stand, or a market. Whatever they are doing , they are in a natural state of being. The 2 types of photography requires asking for permission, which sometimes can either make the photo or or break it.
Personally, I think 1 of the best part of travelling are the people we meet. I still can’t bring myself to take the time and connect with random people I meet along . It is a skill I must develop to advance my travel photography.
Most travellers use the candid approach when photographing people in the streets. I am one of them. It’s all about capturing a moment & definitely not posed. It is spontaneous & fresh not staged.
You must have a keen eye and act quickly.
For the sake of our artistic expression I don’t believe in always asking for permission , there are exceptions though.
Local markets , like the one in Croatia , are one of my favourite place to photograph people where daily lives of locals are seen interacting with each other.For best results, portrait lens can be used, but have your settings ready.
Book on Photographing People When Travelling
Indeed , I don’t pretend to be a National Geographic photographer but I do have the motivation to hone my skills. Practice, practice & practice is what I learnt in my photography classes to take amazing photographs of people when travelling.
If you would like a good book to guide you, I honestly recommend The Lonely Planet Guide to Travel Photography. It has in dept details on cameras, gears, composition, techniques and how to make money from your art.
Never stop learning, the world of photography is endless & remember to practice your craft.