Developing your confidence

2 Jan

This first exercise of the “people unaware” part is about going away from the formal portrait and getting more comfortable taking picture of people that may be unaware of that and learning to describe in a documentary way.

I chose for that exercise a wedding of my wife’s cousin as I was asked to document the garden party after the actual wedding.

About ten percent of the people knew whom I was but as it was a very positive atmosphere I was feeling confident that I could take the pictures without ruining the party and capturing the event as it was.

I took about 900 pictures but chose to show just a couple of them.

My intention with those pictures was to show a little part of the whole evening, starting from the people arriving with hugs and kisses as well as gifts and then playing, eating and then in the end the last gift that the couple got: a painting done during the party of their friends depicting apples. Important to me was also to show the variety in ages that were there.

(click on the pictures to get a bigger version)


When looking back I felt not that comfortable in the beginning as they did not know me and probably were not expecting a photographer at the garden party but my experience as a doctor helped to just go for it and “do what has to be done”. After a while it got better as I did not encounter any negative feeling and just positive people. As time went along I decided to get a mixture of both documentary style pictures, in other words without them knowing or ignoring me and I also wanted to get some shots of the people looking into the camera so that the newly wed couple had even a document of who was there.

As I am normally easy going and don’t have problems getting contact with people this exercise was easy and I think I could have explained “my way out of it” when someone had objected to being photographed or had questioned my intentions with taking photos of e.g. children.


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