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General photography questions and answers: Discuss People photography help please...Guys and girls I'm off to the Goodwood Revival in September of which I'm looking forward to, as this event ...
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Old 21-08-2006, 11:55   #1 (permalink)
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People photography help please

Guys and girls
I'm off to the Goodwood Revival in September of which I'm looking forward to, as this event will have full on vintage racing and WWII aircraft flying displays which I'm ok with. However I'm not so good at people photography and I'd like some tips and hints as I know there will be loads of people getting into the spirit of things by dressing to the period of the event.

My problem is that as soon as I start poking my lens at people my confidence vanishes faster than a woman spending money.

Any tips, hints, advice very much welcomed.
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Old 21-08-2006, 12:12   #2 (permalink)
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Re: People photography help please

Well, if it makes you feel any better, I tend to be the same way. But the big advantage is that the dressed up peeps will be expecting photos, so will actually be very helpful. Or that's how I've always found it to be the case!

The worst people I find in these circumstances are the Point&Shooters. No, not 'cos of what they do or anything. But they ask you to take a shot of them........ on their camera! And I never have a clue when it comes to them P&S thingies, so are all fingers and thumbs! Always a miracle if they get anything vaguely useable!
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Old 21-08-2006, 12:21   #3 (permalink)
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Re: People photography help please

Use the longest zoom you have so you don't have to get too close - you'll get much more natural shots that way as well as taking the pressure off yourself. And, I suspect, there will be a lot of people with cameras taking pictures all over the place so you can just blend in with the crowd!
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Old 21-08-2006, 12:26   #4 (permalink)
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Re: People photography help please

Ta muchly guys
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Old 21-08-2006, 14:50   #5 (permalink)
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Re: People photography help please

As Angela says using a zoom from a distance will give you natural shots and help keep you in your comfort zone, but you will be battling to get eye contact (which is almost essential in good people photography) and clean shots with other people walking in front and using their point and shoots.

I would use the event as a good oppotunity to improve my confidence and approach the more friendly looking people. As you say they will be dressedup anyway and the reason they do that is to attract attention and be part of the event, they expect to be photographed. Approach them and seek their permission to take photographs, be polite and friendly and you will soon be chatting away and might even begin to direct them into your required poses. If you are friendly their poses should be natural and your results will be far better.

Either way its all good practice and try to have fun!!
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Old 21-08-2006, 15:25   #6 (permalink)
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Re: People photography help please

Be really cheeky & get a T-Shirt printed with "Press Photographer" ....... you'll get away with murder then. They'll be queueing up for shots

If not, then I found using a decent telephoto (200mm for me) at the Fairford show, allowed me to position myself so it looked like I was taking a shot of something nearer to me, whereby I would quickly move the lens a few degrees to catch the shots below (worth keeping both eyes open to see what is happening) :-





or if you use the 10-20 at the wide end, they'll have no idea they are in the shot :-



Moi, sneaky ?
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Old 21-08-2006, 16:13   #7 (permalink)
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Re: People photography help please

Thanks Steve and Dave,
Think I'll try both see how I get on with my 70-200 and if the old confidence is stilling a bit strong I'll go for something closer. I think it's getting over that first hurdle safely then I think I'll off and running just need to bump into the right people.

Here's hoping.
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