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A collection of Photography Adventures, tips and tricks.

Overcoming anxiety with taking photos of people

A common problem for people of today is anxiety and especially social anxiety.  This comes in many facets such as talking in front of large groups of people, or fear of judgement, or self-imposed barriers you put in front of yourself.  I fall into the latter and everything I come across is self-imposed that I want to overcome and I think photography is going to hopefully be a good outlet should I pursue it further into my life.  So what would be the best way to approach this as someone who wants to shoot portraits, or street photography?  Here's the steps I've taken to combat this and you can follow me as I keep at it.

There were a few items I needed to address when doing this and they were as follows.

1.) When taking portraits one is to direct the individual, going into this I had actually zero clue on what I would be telling someone to do, what looks good, what has been proven and tested to be true.  

2.) What would be the proper lenses and why.

3.) How should I go about lighting.

To address my number one concern of directing someone and what looks good was to just do research.  I would look at past photo-shoots from high end designers and figure out their positioning and try to convey that.  Also taking cues from the photographers of those sets and what they're telling the models to do.  Secondly the Lens to use and that one was actually easy because the really important part is your F-stop I felt.  You want it to be a low F-stop, I was only able to work with a 3.6 F-stop, but I was able to make it work.  In the future I do look to get the 35mm F1.8 Nikon Lens as I've heard great things from it and I'll review that later as well.  Finally the lighting, I do not have any form of lights for photography, but I at least knew I would want to not have a direct flash as the only source of lighting.  So, we'll work with what we got and that is once again working with the nature around you.  We have one of the greatest light sources in the universe and that my friends is called the Sun. 

To help me with this was my girlfriend, she needed new headshots for modelling again and I decided to undertake the task to not only test myself, but to help each of us be more comfortable in that setting.  While she has no issue with people and things of that nature, I did and she was able to have me voice direction confidently and she would do it.  She was so fantastic to actually "Work" with that I felt a boom of confidence in the shots I was taking and I am eternally grateful.  So, now the final product I took.

With the Sun setting it provided a nice warmer glow instead of an intense shine at the time and that was great. however on the same notion it did not provide enough lighting to fill the left side of her face, this is where I see the need for additional flash, but I was afraid it would be an imbalance of color with a natural sun glow and an unnatural flash so i decided against it.  in reality I should've just done it to test.  In processing I thought the glow that the sun gave off was still just too much even though it probably wasn't, so I turned down the highlights a little bit and I loved the result.

In the future I will be reviewing an actual soft-box setup, and the 35mm f1.8 Lens as well because those will always provide an ideal atmosphere.  This shoot was fun and a good moment of bonding with her doing something she loves to do and me learning multiple aspects of photography. Now I'm developing a hobby that we can both do together so we get to spend even more time with each other.  She has been vital in my portrait testing and will continue to be vital in my life as well.  This is the key takeaway from this and that is to work with someone you are comfortable with as this should be the first stepping stone to getting out of your shell, I hope it works for me.