An Engagement Photo in Sri Lanka

As I wandered through the green expanse of Kandy’s Botanical Garden, I came across this lovely couple out for a shoot with their hired Sri Lankan wedding photographer.

Being the interloper that I am (the basic nature of a photographer?), I asked if I could take their picture. They obliged and everyone, including their photographer, seemed happy with the request; their photographer took a picture of me taking a picture of them. My guess is that I am now in their wedding album. The observer being observed. Sounds kind of quantum, doesn’t it?

I am posting this photo for two reasons: 1, I like the composition, the colour, the bamboo background and their expressions (I apologize for the obtrusive watermark) and, 2, it’s a good example of how to interact with people to get a good shot.

I was talking to a friend about the how-to of street-portraiture just the other day. First off, for a formal street-portrait like this, you need to be forward enough to ask your intended subject(s) if they would be willing to have their picture taken. Magically, most people say, yes, largely because I think everyone likes the idea of being witnessed. And by asking, somehow you add more importance to the act and consequently people treat the moment with more attention and respect. Another key point is to make solid eye contact when you make the request. Eye contact adds a compelling weight to a request that adds to its sincerity. Voila. You have a nice shot of a beautiful couple. That was easy. And the world constantly throws up situations like this all the time. And the more you do it, the easier it gets. You just have to get past your fear of asking. If they say, no, fine; no one got hurt. But, really, they rarely say no.

In the coming week, we will be announcing a photo workshop series that will include Travel Photography and one specifically on some of the do’s and dont’s of shooting in the streets. Stay tuned if this kind of shooting intrigues you.

Bye for now.







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