I am always looking for characters and people with strong facial expressions.
I walk almost everyday in the streets of Lisbon looking for people to photograph.
I have several ways of taking street portraits and I´ll start with the first and probably the easiest. I shoot with 28mm lenses because I love to approach my subject from a very close POV and this is no longer observation, or voyeurism, you begin to feel you are part of the picture due to the approximation of your subject. Another reason that I shoot with wide-lenses is the fact that when I approach to people very closely you can see their face and imperfections with more detail, which allows the viewer to witness and feel the picture with more emotion due to the proximity of the subject.
The two portraits below are really easy, I just approached them and I asked if I could take a portrait of them. They allowed me to do it, so I arranged the shutter and speed and then I framed the picture how I wanted and took it. When I finished I said thank you and both of them said, “No problem, you´re welcome.”
The next way that I take pictures is similiar, but slightly different.
I approach the person and ask if I can take a picture of them. Between the time of my question and the time of their answer (which is seconds), I put the camera in a low angle without their noticing and in fact, I´ve already taken one or two photos of them.
Now you can see in the three photos, a similar angle and camera position. That´s what links these three street portraits, the similarity of the angle and subjects’ postures.
It was not easy learning to shoot without looking at the viewfinder or the LCD. Even now sometimes I loose some great portraits because I didn´t position the camera in the right way. But I think it´s a matter of time, training and being persistent.
The third way, and this one I only recently started to explore, is street photography with flash. I think it gives more importance to the subject and makes him stand out from everything else in the picture.