Taking photos can be scary

Yesterday afternoon I went around town to take some photos. I have realized that taking photos can be a scary and uncomfortable experience, especially if your alone and you’re not in a place where people are used to seeing cameras flashing everywhere.

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I try to bring my camera with me most days but a lot of times my heavy Canon 600D just stays in my bag during the whole day. I would love to take more photos but a soon as I take my camera out I’m in even more centre of attention than I already am being one of the few people in this town with white skin. I’m slowly learning how to handle the situation.
For now I mostly take photos of buildings and streets because it feels safe. I would die to take photos of the guy on the other street charging people from weighing themselves on a scale that he has brought with him out on the sidewalk. I would love to have a photos of the woman selling vegetables from a blanket on the street who’s business seems to be thriving and would love to take a photo of the woman setting up her small grill to make hot corncobs. There’s so many beautiful things around this town that I would love to document but I’m not comfortable to get close, yet.

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I don’t know about you but I feel so different when I can’t motivate my shooting with the fact that I’m taking photos of tourist attractions. I always imagine it to be worse than it really is though. Yesterday while walking around with my camera I realized that most people don’t take notice or care at all. I think it’s a matter of just getting out there and to push myself to take those photos that I want to take and try to find a way to talk to people in order to make them feel less of an object and make them feel at least not totally uncomfortable behind my lens.
What are you thoughts on taking photos of people? Do you have any strategies to share?
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