Can You Make a Street Portrait in 30 Seconds Flat?

8/24/2018

How comfortable are you approaching strangers with the intention of taking a photo of them? No matter how outgoing you are, you've got admit there is a level of awkwardness that accompanies this process. London-based photographer, Nicola Davison Reed shares the secrets of her success with a personal project, "30 Seconds of Street Portrait."

According to Reed, it’s up to the photographer to decide how difficult, simple, or even fun the process should be. Reed also suggests using some visuals to arouse the interests of the subjects. One strategy she employed involved getting the strangers to be comfortable with the idea, which she often achieved by showing them the street cards she describes as her “mobile portfolio.” 

Reed explains why it’s important to keep the interaction short. "I called it '30 Seconds of Street Portrait,' as that is the time that it takes." She said, "I think to engage someone is my purpose - any longer than that I've blown it."

As regards what not to do, Reed explains why it's important not to rush the process, "I don't want to be out trawling the streets desperate for a catch," she says, "That reeks of paparazzi. Keep it artful and each encounter special."

Read more about her approach and the most memorable experience she had with a stranger in the full article on Professional Photographer.