It’s a busy Saturday in one of East London’s top tourist locations, Shoreditch, and the crowds of people walking the streets are building by the hour. And where am I? Sat down, leaning against a lamppost posing in the street, with cars whizzing past and people staring. Do I care? No. Would I have been embarrassed a year ago? Most likely. But fast forward over a year since I first started blogging and I’d say I’m pretty confident with shooting in public. Right from the beginning I knew that I wanted to be sharing ‘street style’ photos and so naturally I’d have to build up confidence with shooting in public. But for me this confidence has naturally built up over time. For all of you out there that either want to build confidence for shooting outside or are just starting out and are feeling a bit self-conscious I thought I’d write this post giving my top 5 tips for how to gain confidence shooting in public.
(Photo credit- @elenaimpi_photography)
1. Get someone to take your photos who you feel comfortable with
This is a BIGGIE and probably the most important point of all. Whoever you’re shooting with you need to feel comfortable with them, whether that’s your friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/photographer/mum/dad/sibling/grandparent…you get the gist. Plus, you need to also ensure whoever your shooting with feels comfortable taking your photos and doesn’t get embarrassed themselves.
There’s been times I’ve had people take my photos in public and I can tell they feel a bit awkward/embarrassed doing so and in turn that makes me feel more awkward/embarrassed and the shots don’t turn out as well. Essentially the more comfortable you feel (which is a running theme throughout this post) the better the photos will turn out. So find someone that isn’t phased by this as that way you’ll feel a lot more relaxed and natural…I mean you want those cute candid shots right?!
That’s why working with a professional photographer can be a great idea. It’s their job to take photos so they have 0 awkwardness when it comes to getting ‘the’ shot, whether that’s you being stood in the middle of the street, in a busy crowd or doing a funny pose. They’re also used to working with multiple clients just like you, especially if you work with a photographer who has lots of blogger clients, so they know how to make you feel more comfortable. Because at the end of the day, we’re not professional models and it’s natural to feel a bit uncomfortable sometimes. Also they want to get the best shot as well, so you’ve both got that common goal! If you’re looking for a great photographer I’d definitely recommend my girl Elena Impieri, she’s lovely and always makes me feel super comfortable. Plus she takes the best shots.
However, it goes without saying that the downside of regularly using a photographer is that it can be expensive and I know I can’t afford to regularly pay for a photographer so by all means I’m not suggesting you HAVE to do that. But if you can afford this, from my personal perspective, I’d say it is 100% worth trying. Then if this works for you and it’s the best way for you to feel comfortable and get the best shots, then it’s worth the investment.
(Photo credit- @elenaimpi_photography)
2. Build it up gradually
Nobody is expecting you to be comfortable shooting in the middle of Covent Garden midday Saturday with lots of people staring on your first shoot. Well I definitely wouldn’t have been. To start with I’d find areas that I knew were quiet, favouring side streets which didn’t tend to have much through traffic. *Top tip if you live near Leicester, the New Walk area is amazing for this. I actually had a couple of my first ever shoots around this area which you can see in the posts ‘Day to Night’ ‘The Teddy Bear Jacket’ and ‘Jumper Season’ if you want to see how far I’ve come!
Another top tip is to shoot early in the morning, so you’ll have to be nice and convince whoever is taking your photos to get up early and help you out. I recently did a shoot around London China Town and went really early on a Sunday morning. I went early more because I wanted to avoid there being lots of people in the shots, buuut I also felt more confident because there wasn’t as many people. Therefore, if you’re worried about there being lots of people staring at you when you’re trying to get your pic for the gram, go early in the morning and avoid the crowds. You’ll get a better shot with less people in the background and you’ll also feel more confident taking the photos- A winner all round.
But essentially build it up in whatever way you feel most comfortable. Take baby steps and every time you do a shoot push yourself slightly more out of your comfort zone, until you get to the point where nothing phases you.
3. Mentally prepare yourself
Picture this scenario- You’ve seen a few amazing pictures of people shooting around Oxford Circus and you want to create a similar image (Inspiration not imitation though just to be clear, because nobody likes a direct copier). But, you’re a bit anxious about shooting in a public place with hundreds of people around. So mentally prepare yourself- What’s the worst that could happen? People staring, potentially pointing at you, creepy guys leering (unfortunately in 2019 this still happens), people making comments. If you expect the worst and are mentally prepared for it, it won’t phase you if it happens. Luckily, in London and other big cities I think a lot of people are starting to get used to bloggers so will often be more considerate, but until that’s the same for every single person and city it’s worth being mentally prepared before you go out shooting.
I’d also say that mapping out your locations can be a great way to mentally prepare before a shoot. If you know exactly where you’re going, maybe you’ve been there before or even looked it up on google maps, you’ll feel more confident shooting there. I often feel quite anxious when I’ve never been to an area before and don’t really know what to expect. It can make me quite flustered when I get there and does the opposite to relax me before shooting.
(Photo credit- @ailsarenk)
4. Fake it till you make it
This might be easier said than done but whether or not you feel 100% confident shooting in public or not, nobody else knows that unless you show it. All the points above will help you feel more relaxed, prepared and comfortable whilst shooting but ultimately it’s up to you. Inner confidence is super important and often comes from self-love. If you think you look stunning and your outfit is banging, then half the confidence you need comes from that. Go out there and take some killer photos and show the world. People staring and being nosey should never put you off from doing something you love. Most of the time they’re just staring because they’re curious, like your outfit, think you might be famous or a model etc. Let them think what they want!
I hope this post has helped and provided you with tips that will help build your confidence for shooting in public! I’d love to hear what you think and let me know if you have any more tips for me and anyone else reading this post. We all want to create the best content ever, so let’s help each other out!
Until next time,
(*Advertisment disclaimer- All items in this post marked with a (*) below were gifted to me, but I was not paid to write this post or feature them in this post. As always, all views and opinions are 100% my own.)
Fleece Pull Over- Urban Outfitters (linked similar)
*Trousers- I Saw It First
Top- Zara (linked similar)
Trousers- Zara (linked similar)
Cardigan- Lacoste Vintage
*Top- Nasty Gal
*Trousers- Nasty Gal
*Sunglasses- River Island (gifted as part of a paid Instagram campaign)
*Trainers- Skechers at JD Sports
Hat- Urban Outfitters (linked similar)
*Top- River Island (gifted as part of a paid Instagram campaign)
*Coat- Dorothy Perkins
Jeans- Vintage Versace
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