• Consider cultural norms


  • Etiquette


  • Angle of your shot


  • Crowds of people


  • Close portraits



  • Consider cultural norms:


      Taking photos of others can be an incredibly invasive task. So you’ll want to ensure you remain respectful. Investigate what the ‘cultural norms’ are regarding photographs. This information is available through a quick internet search, guide book check, or speaking with a local.


  • Etiquette:

Where possible, ask for the subjects permission and pay a small fee if required. A fee is often expected if you shoot an up close portrait. Added tip: if you are purchasing goods from a local then this is often a great opportunity to gesture at your camera for a shot. The payment of goods usually cancels out payment for the photo.



  • Angle of your shot:

Move around and reposition your self to get the ‘best’ angle of your subject. This usually requires getting down low and shooting at the persons eye level. This will help bring a sense of depth to your photo. You can further enhance this technique by selecting a low aperture setting on your camera, to create a low depth of field image.



  • Crowds of people:

When capturing crowds of people you want each subject to compliment the shot. Often, the aim is to capture a snapshot of each individual’s personal story within the shared moment of the group. Ensure those in the frame are not looking directly at the camera as this will cause a distraction.



  • Close portraits:

If you are capturing a close portrait, follow as mentioned above ‘be respectful, ask permission, pay the small fee (if required)’ and focus on the eyes! There is a great detailed write up about focusing on the eyes, published here at ‘Explosive Aperture’.


How about you? Are you happy with you portrait images? Do you experience any challenges with getting those cultural shots you are after?