In her Skillshare course, Documentary Photography: Capturing Places and People, photojournalist Ami Vitale drops a gem anyone can apply to their work: get there first.
The strategy works out like this: You get to a location early in the morning. The scene is still quiet. The few people up and out of bed are guaranteed go-getters. They’re optimistic and friendly, unburdened by the stress a full day brings. These folks make for much more willing subjects who are open to helping a photographer get their shot.
The day goes on and more people join you. A funny thing about human psychology, if you’re already hanging around, new arrivals view you as part of the scene. When you make a request of them, it is viewed as welcoming them into what’s happening, rather than an intrusion. Try it for yourself.
- Late may be fashionable, but if you want to set the tone for an experience, be one of the first to arrive to an event. Become the welcoming committee. Introduce yourself to new arrivals and if you want something – whether it’s an interview, a photo, or a favor – ask for it!
- Take Ami’s course for more tips on photography and interacting with subjects. You can use my referral link for a free month of membership on Skillshare.