How to Capture Strangers in a Public Space?

When Joel Meyerowitz was snapping candids of people on NYC streets in the 60s, he wasn’t concerned with people threatening to sue for capturing their identity without permission. In the 60s, people weren’t afraid of having strangers snap photos of them. These days that attitude is no longer found because potential visibility of photography has increased tenfold. Most photos end up on an internet parking lot but the chance that your snapshot will go viral exists. Any street photographer will attest to the fact that people are paranoid and reluctant to agree to being photographed. 

Rogério Ries has found his way of reconciling his need to photograph strangers whilst evading the chances of a court proceeding with angered sunbathing “subjects” in his photos. The result is intriguing and comical.

© Rogério Ries
© Rogério Ries

Here’s some advice from Ries on how to photograph sunbathers without getting a black eye or lawsuit: 

A primer on how to take candid shots on the beaches of Rio.

  1. So you don’t have to give all sorts of explanations, keep moving, be discreet, use auto focus, and stick to taking only horizontal photos. Rotating the arms to vertical format draws attention and gives away the shot.
  2. Be tolerant of bathers, vendors, and police. They’re unaware of their artistic motivations.
  3. If you notice that you’re being observed by a suspect individual, make gestures that simulates you’re communicating with someone from a distance. It might work.
  4. Always keep in mind the phrase Banksy, the English street artist, uses concerning his actions in public spaces: “It’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission.”
  5. One way to protect the identity of the people you photograph is to apply small geometric figures over their faces. This can often produce a curious and ironic aesthetic. For examples, you can refer to the poetic works of the Hungarian artist, László Moholy-Nagy, and the American, John Baldessari.

Good luck.

© Rogério Ries
© Rogério Ries
© Rogério Ries
© Rogério Ries

 

Read the full article at: www.lensculture.com