A Photoblog by Monte Stevens

A place for my photos and random thoughts

Camera Shy

with 3 comments

Camera Shy

Camera Shy

With the above image, you are probably asking if I’ve lost my head. The answer is no but I have lost Kevin’s head.

Ever notice how some people dislike having a camera pointed in their direction while others are comfortable in front of a camera? Kevin, who is missing in the above photo, is a bit of both. He can ham it up in front of a camera like the image taken just before this one where he has a finger penetrating one nostril and his eyes crosssed. At other times he can dodge a 1/60 second shutter with ease.

Some people hate (a pretty strong word) to have their photo taken (also a pretty strong word.) When someone points a camera at them the image may not be a good one because they are turning away or placing a hand in front of their face. When I encounter someone like that I move on. How do you deal with those who do not like to have their photo taken?

Anyone seen Kevin? He was there a second ago. Yoh, Kevin!


Written by Monte Stevens

September 8, 2009 at 12:01 am

3 Responses

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  1. Perhaps a part of it is a matter of trust. With some people you have to invest more time winning them over so they’ll relax and can “be themselves” in front of the lens–show an interest in them as a person and open up to let them know a bit more about yourself. If they feel more comfortable about you, then they’ll feel more comfortable about you with the camera.

    Of course if they’re scared to death of the camera (or perhaps running from the law) I’d just move on! šŸ™‚


    September 8, 2009 at 7:10 am

  2. @Monte: Earl brings up a very valid point, especially in relation to street photography. Before you can ask for a gift, you have to offer one. That is to say, I find that people relax after you’ve chatted with them for a bit before popping the question. They get to trust their intuition about you. A bit of the suspicion starts to peel away.

    Family members and friends rarely seem to be bothered: “Oh, that’s just Paul. He’s always got a camera in his hand. Ignore him and he’ll go away!” šŸ™‚ Yet, in the end, they frequently seem to comment about how they like the pictures even if they usually don’t like what they see in a photograph. There’s deeper psychological meaning in that, I think.

    So, I’d say that it’s about trust and about who they view themselves internally when they see a photo.


    September 8, 2009 at 7:34 am

  3. I like the photo itself, but also nice to hear from Paul and Earl. I would love to start venturing more into street photography. I am inhibited and feel like the fellow in the picture–I dislike imposing on people! Something to work on.


    September 9, 2009 at 5:33 am

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