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I think being shy is holding me back....

12 Mar 2013 5:37PM
This may sound a very small issue to some of you out there, but I was wondering if any of you had any tips on dealing with being shy when taking photographs, I love photography but I feel shy about taking my pictures, I find I rush the shot just to get something and move on, I am currently doing a course, which involves having to take some night shots of cars on slow shutter speeds in order to capture the light trails, but I keep putting it off, because not only will I have to take a picture in public at night but even worse I will need my tripod, (in the absence of a wall to put the camera on so less conspicuous). I know I have to over come this, and I could take someone with me, but my partner says I have to over come this shyness/fear???.
On the plus side I live in a tourist area so in the summer I am an undercover tourist with a camera and am an English girl abroad so fit in quite well, which makes it easier I just need to have a cover for my fear in the winter in the rain and snow, when there are no tourists around. Any tips gratefully received.


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Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
12 Mar 2013 5:42PM
It's not a small issue, Nikki. Do you have a monopod? You will often find that will suffice and it is less intrusive to other people.
12 Mar 2013 5:49PM
No mono pod Carabosse just the tripod, but I can see what you mean, just looking for a confidence boost really i suppose so,
JJGEE 13 7.2k 18 England
12 Mar 2013 5:51PM

Quote:which involves having to take some night shots

Quote:but I keep putting it off, because not only will I have to take a picture in public at night

Quote:I know I have to over come this, and I could take someone with me
good idea.

I would not say your concerns are shyness, more like being responsible and understanding of the potential dangers of a female being out alone at night with expensive camera gear.
lawbert 11 1.8k 15 England
12 Mar 2013 5:56PM
I can understand the shyness but once you nail the pics you envisage this will inspire confidence.
have you got a country road that passes over a motorway nearby?
That would be a good place to start on the light trails and you would have some privacy to set up the tripod and concentrate purely on the shot.
JJGEE 13 7.2k 18 England
12 Mar 2013 5:58PM

Quote:have you got a motorway bridge over a country road nearby

I think you meant a country road bridge over a motorway Wink
lawbert 11 1.8k 15 England
12 Mar 2013 6:00PM

Quote:have you got a motorway bridge over a country road nearby
I think you meant a country road bridge over a motorway Wink

Just edited it as you posted it!!Smile
12 Mar 2013 6:32PM
I live in a small town by the sea in southern Ireland, so I don't have any safety issues, I can walk around by myself at 3 am and no hassle in this place although I am not complacent, I lived in Bristol before so this is the back of beyond compared to that, it is just that I am horrified to think someone is watching me, and I stand out, I was just wondering if other people had encountered these feelings and if so how they overcome it, or deal with it, the good shots creating confidence is a good train of thought though.
robthecamman 6 1.7k United Kingdom
12 Mar 2013 6:48PM
just do it
arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2013 6:48PM
Do some habit forming sessions Nikki.
Make a point of going into a public place to do some photography,
just for a short while to start with, but then extend the time you're out with each session you do.
In my experience, the general public give a wide birth to someone with a dslr, more so with a tripod, as they will assume you're a pro!
pablophotographer 6 951 335
12 Mar 2013 7:01PM
Can you shoot cars passing from your bedroom window at night? Can you see boats at night gliding on the sea?

if you live upstaits and there is parking space below, tell your friend or a family member with a car to assist you as you record them turning on the lights on and reverse to come out of the parking.

Stay in your parking lot and shoot an indicator light...

Set the camera on the tripod in your porch and tell a friend to press the brakes at night, when the car lights are on. Zoom in and out of the lights.

Stay indorrs in a dark room, set the camera to shoot at a direction and draw with a flashlight or a laser pointer something on that direction where the lens points.
Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
12 Mar 2013 7:11PM
I can understand your issue.
I am a shy person myself (ok, some might not agree...lol). I have issue approaching and asking people if I can take their pictures in the public. But I know if I don't force myself to do that, then I would come home without anything and that's is unbearable. So, the only way to do it is to force myself to approach them and ask. What's the worst that could happen.
If taking someone else with you makes you feel better, then do that. Ask your partner, or go out with other photographers.
Graysta 13 1.1k England
12 Mar 2013 7:59PM
A suggestion might be to find some like minded photographer's local to you through this site and arrange a meet.
You may then find the public will just accept that you are a group of tog's off for a session and expect you to be taking pictures of whatever, Once one member ask's to take a picture you will find it easy to ask if you can take one. Also if you are setting a tripod up for a shot it is more comfortable if you are with another person.
Do not feel shy about taking picture's and do NOT rush them, take whatever is in your head when you set out and make it work, you do not have to feel shy about taking picture's, show what you have taken to other people and put them on this site,once folk's look at your work and like it you will gain confidence in what you are doing.
ErictheViking 5 124 102 Scotland
12 Mar 2013 8:19PM
Like many members writing here I am quite a shy person but I found my real issue was my confidence and feeling of embarrassment at taking my photography.

To over come this you need someone to go with you to reassure you and boost your confidence that you can do this. Once you confidence grows so will your ability to go on your own.

Is the photo course run through college? If so ask another student to buddy up with you. If its a home learning course tell your partner to stop giving you grief and to realise these things don't vanish on their own they need to be worked on and a companion does help.

for the record I've got dyslexia with huge confidence issues and chronic depression so I have an idea what I'm talking about.

janeez Plus
9 1.8k 8 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2013 9:34PM
Get yourself a fluorescent yellow safety vest with photographer on the back and people will automatically stop to let you take the picture. They'll probably be interested in what you are doing as well. It's just a crutch to give you some confidence but I can guarantee it will work. Smile

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