Travel photographer Gavin Gough on his personal prerequisite for taking street portraits of precious people. I’m well aware that not everyone may have that inherent comfort level for approaching total strangers, striking up a conversation and hoping a portrait will result from that brief interaction. It’s absolutely uncomfortable at first but it’s that same discomfort that pushes me to keep trying it.
Candid shots are generally a good way to ease up with the overall process of photographing on the streets too but Gavin himself is not very keen on that approach:
Shooting from the hip, which is often a polite way of describing somebody who takes photographs whilst trying to disguise the act, is like shoplifting. It’s a cowardly and unimpressive way to make photographs.
In the end, you should do what works for you which can also be based on what type of work it is that you want to be doing. Case and point about Gavin’s comment on how both parties should be keen on making a portrait together is Chris Arnade’s photographs. It speaks for itself.