Why Introverts Make Great Street Photographers

Although I like to be social, sometimes it’s nice to go out with your camera and, well, not have to talk to people. But in a busy city center that’s not always easy to do, especially when you have a big camera and eye-catching lens.

Recently I had the chance to try out Tamron’s trio of compact prime lenses for the Sony E mount – the 20mm, 24mm and 35mm f/2.8 lenses.

As an introvert, it can be stressful and unnerving to go out and photograph other people on the street. But with these lenses, it’s never been easier to capture the scenes I want without drawing attention. Here’s why introverts can make great street photographers and, more importantly, how small, compact lenses help in that mission.

Introverts know how to slow down

One of the best qualities of an introvert is that you don’t have to be around people all the time. With photography, this means that you know how to slow down and observe the landscape and the details around you. You know how to look up, down, left and right. And you know how to work with the details you see, and ultimately create a scene.

Take the squeezed lemons above, for example. My goal for that night was to photograph the activity by the river. I finally came across these lemons while slowly walking around the area where I was. The light hitting the lemons, the shadows they cast…it was exactly what I was looking for.

As an introvert, you take everything into account. You evaluate. You strategize. Then you create something magical.

Introverts know people don’t want to be bothered.

When it comes to street photography with people, it’s hard to have the courage to get out there and start shooting. You worry about people seeing you take their picture and then start a conversation. As introverts, we don’t want a conversation with a complete stranger!

The photos above I took with my Sony a1, which has a tilting screen. I prefer this to a flippy screen when shooting street photography, as it allows me to shoot more easily from the hip.

Shooting from the hip can be ideal for introverts, as it makes us feel like we’re photographing something else, or not photographing at all. We can look in one direction but shoot in a totally different direction.

This allows introverts to get scenes that extroverts might not see or even bother to photograph. It allows us to become less of a target for the public asking “what is this guy photographing?” This allows us to focus on our craft without getting in the way, making people nervous or disturbing them to take the picture.

Introverts just don’t take a hit…they work the scene

This is probably one of the biggest advantages. As an introvert, you know that one angle is not enough. You take several. You play with different settings, different angles and different backgrounds.

Take the series of photos above, for example, of a drink I picked up at Long Road Distillers. I took a while to find the angle, so I explored what I could get. I changed the height of my camera, I changed the aperture and I changed the focus point. Working the scene, I was able to come up with several shots that I know would work in different situations.

Introverts work with purpose

Introverts are crafty in what they capture. We don’t click the shutter button willy-nilly. We do it with a purpose.

For me, every street photo I take, I think of a story that could go with it. For example, the light reflections in the window of Grand Haven Beach Co.? It could allude to the fact that there is fun going on in front of that glass, but you have to go there to see it. The two people walking in the background of this sandwich photo? They know where they are going to dine!

The angles, the settings, the amazing compact lenses we choose (like the Tamron 20mm, 24mm and 35mm)… it’s all done for a reason. And that’s to create a scene that we can remember and be proud of.

About Wesley Williamson

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