Taking Pictures Of Locals When Travelling

Travel photography is all about capturing the culture and customs of the country or city that you are visiting and one major part of this is to capture locals. If you have ever leafed through a travel advisor journal or a book for holiday destinations or any other cultural book or site related to travelling, there always is a portrait of the locals. Photographing people may seem difficult and you may get shy but it’s not as hard as it seems and it is a highly important task which you can master easily by following some simple tips:


  • Build Confidence

Whenever you loose confidence think about what’s the worst that can happen? The person might say ‘no’ and you may feel embarrassed? There is no need to feel neither shy nor humiliated, if you approach a person and ask for a photograph and they refuse you can simply disregard it and move on, you will come along someone who would be more then happy to be shot. It’s important to keep your hopes up and confidence high, you can even warm up and practice first by beginning to take shots of the hotel and guards there.

  • Learn A Few Words In The Local Language

There is no need to master the vocabulary skills in the local language to get people to agree to be photographed but simple words such as hello or complimentary words such as beautiful or amazing can do wonders for you. Whenever you face people it’s best to approach them as a trusty person rather then as a camera, smiling and greeting them in their local language can be convincing and slightly humorous, even if they know English. Once people have agreed they may get uncomfortable after one or two shots but showing them the screen and complimenting them can increase the positivity.

  • Learn The Customs

Different places and different cultures around the world have different customs and learning them is important to be culturally sensitive. You don’t want to be talking when hush silence is expected at an event in a particular culture and you don’t want to be using the flash during a sad service which may not seem like it to you unless the culture is studied. In some places when a women is complimented they feel that they are being hit upon thus to avoid any mishaps or humiliation you must do your research.


  • Take Interest In Subjects

Don’t just take pictures of people for the sake of it but take pictures of those who actually interest you because your interest will shine through your work and make the picture stand out. Think about what is it about the person that interests you, their sorrowful eyes, bright smile, carefree attitude, the clothing, the craft they are performing, or what and try to capture the picture making that interesting point your focus. Your interest will also shine in your eyes and it can actually make a subject agree to pose for you.


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