10 Rules about Street Portraits

[10 Regole sul Ritratto di Strada: versione in italiano qui]

One of my biggest proposes for 2017 (about photography) is trying to realize a set of portraits of strangers on the street. I follow lot of projects like that, from the famous Humans of NY to 365 Parisiens and others, and I find every series really interesting and inspiring. There is another point about my intention: I’m shy, a little bit shy. So this photoproject can be a challenge to me. Last year I tried to begin a project like that on Instagram, taking pictures of people I know, but now I want to make it better, with a camera and with strangers, interesting people that I can meet on my way, on the street.

For this reason I’ve read some articles on internet, where lot of photographers explain how to shoot Street Portrait (with permission). The most interesting article about it was written by Danny Santos and I want to share with you ten rules that I’ve learned.

  1. Fear won’t goes away, never, so keep asking for shooting and don’t stop.
  2. Keep it simple. Just ask to take a picture, without explanations and waste of time. 
  3. Be Honest. When they ask “why?” or “what for?” you can say that it’s for a project or just to practice your skills in photography. Don’t tell lies and people will support you.
  4. Stay positive. Some people will say “no” or sometimes they will be worried for your question. Don’t feel bad, just say thank you and look for another person.
  5. Give them a business card. They will be happy to follow your project, to look and share their pictures and they will have a sense of security about your intents.
  6. Avoid the fake smiles. Try to keep a portrait in a natural expression. If you want to see people smiling, make them laugh and capture the moment.
  7. Find a good light. Be too excited when a subject says yes without check the light can make it a bad portrait.
  8. Make a project, not single images. The set will be more interesting and meaningful if there is a factor that unifies people you shoot.
  9. Eye contact. The viewer needs to feel an instant connection with the subject.
  10. Have fun. The most important thing… 🙂

The following gallery is a sample of images I took in the last years, but now I want to do it more and better. I think it could be interesting ask people something about them, to put some commentary with the portrait, or maybe ask a little question like “how Roma make you feel” (if I would realize a collection of “roman people”). I’m not sure if I want to do it with colors on in black and white. Let’s see…







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