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Photographing people at work

Photographing people at work - A work environment is another location where there's portraits just waiting to be captured.

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Portraits and People

Stand in a town for long enough and you'll soon spot plenty of people working away and as everyone wears different clothing, have different tools and work in different environments, there are plenty of photographic opportunities waiting to be captured.

Photograph people at work

Your standard lens will be fine for this project but if you have them, take along your wide angle to include the background and your telephoto for getting in close to people's hands. A longer telephoto lens will also be useful if safety is an issue such as at a construction site where you may have to stand further back.

Everyone, even photographers, get blinded by the ordinary but if you take the time to actually stand back and look around you, you'll soon realise that there's plenty of interesting moments to capture.

You can walk round your town snapping candids of people in the street and you'll get some great shots. A market's a particularly good location as there's plenty of stalls and vendors waiting to be photographed. Just don't be too sneaky. If people notice you be polite, smile and tell them what you're doing as most people will let you take their photograph without any problems. However, if you actually take the time to ask permission you'll often end up with a better photograph. You need to build a relationship with your subject and what better way to break the ice than ask them about their work. Soon after they'll be so wrapped up in what they're doing they'll soon forget about the camera you're pointing at them.

As you're taking photographs in their working environment they'll also be built-in props, items they use every day, to keep their hands busy which will make them less self conscious.

Try a few shots that isolate your subject then take out your wide angle lens and make a visual statement by including the workplace surroundings. Make sure you avoid clutter and if there's an unwanted item such as a bin overflowing with paper in the background move it or frame your scene so it's out of sight. Take the time to look at your subject's hands as if they do a lot of manual work they'll have plenty of scars and marks that can tell a story and if they do an unusual job such as weaving baskets try shooting some 'work in progress' shots.

You've read the article, now go take some fantastic images. You can then upload the pictures, plus any advice and suggestions you have into the dedicated Photo Month forum for everyone at ePHOTOzine to enjoy.

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