Join David Hobby for an in-depth discussion in this video The camera as a gateway to meeting people, part of The Traveling Photographer: The Basics.
All right. Let's talk about what I think is a blind spot for a lot of amateur photographers especially. And maybe not a blind spot but just something that's hard to get around like a hump. Interacting with people, just walking up to people and talking with them, asking if you can shoot their pictures, explaining who you are, where you're from, what you're doing. That's a big thing. For me it's pretty easy thing to do because I've got 20 years experience in the field. So I'm pretty comfortable walking up to a Fortune 500 CEO or, or someone just on the street and I'm kind of cool with that.
Here's a trick. When you're on the road, say you're going to be on for two weeks or a week or whatever, you can be any person you want while you're on the road. It's like that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas mentality. So I've traveled with photographers before and that's always my advice to them, especially the more shy that you are, I think its almost easier to come completely out of your shell just for a couple of weeks and know that when you get back home you can go back to being your original shy person but just be, just flip your personality. You've got nothing to lose, you don't know anyone here, no one's going to bite your head off.
Just resolve to be friendlier, and resolve to approach people, and resolve to make eye contact, and resolve to do all those things that will allow you to integrate yourself into a culture and meet more people. So you'll get better pictures doing that, but you'll also have a much better travel experience because you're like, you're meeting people ground level and that's a cool thing. It's kind of what it's all about if you think about it. A good friend of mine who's a very long term successful photographer, Joe McNally. You may have heard of him. Gave me a great bit of advice a few years back. He said that he thinks of his camera as a visa.
It's like this little magic box that allows him to go places and meet people. And literally I've grown to think of my camera as as this thing that unin, uninhibits me when I'm traveling with it. So my camera is the reason that I meet people. My camera is the reason that I go places. And it's a little mental, a little mind trick. A little Jedi mind trick on yourself. But if you do that, and think of yourself as being a different person when you're holding your camera, it'll quickly start to become that way. And the different person that you're being when you're holding your camera will frequently start to become like your actual person, you're mold into that.
So just picking up a camera can change your personality and can open doors and can give you an excuse to meet people. And that's one of my favorite reasons for carrying around a camera, and I definitely use that when I'm traveling.
You'll learn to plan effectively, choose the right gear, interact with the people you meet, take photographs efficiently, and—most importantly—create the mental space and time to actually enjoy your journey. David visits some nearby interesting destinations, proving that a great travel experience is not always about a far-flung destination. Along the way, you'll learn how to "decode" any city as a true traveling photographer.
Ready to explore more exotic locales? Check out The Traveling Photographer: Hong Kong.
- Thinking like a photographer while traveling
- Choosing gear wisely
- Balancing travel with photography
- Taking time to craft an image
- Being a chameleon
- Meeting people
- Managing photos from a trip