Just make it happen

2 days ago, while taking a group of people into a nice village during Hoi An photo tour & Workshop, I was having a long discussion with one of the photographers about the way to approach people. 

I did try to explain the same way I do it here.

There were plenty of kids playing in the street so everyone was really busy shooting around when I saw this man in his house. I got closer to the fellow photographer who was very interested in the discussion and mentioned that even though I like to get very close to people, I would not enter someone’s house just like that and take a photo.

I needed an approach strategy.

Vietnamese man in his house
I stood in front of this man’s house, looking at the kids playing. I was sometimes looking at him with a smile and saw he was having a better time looking at us taking photos. He seemed to be very friendly, but still, sitting on his bed, I just did not feel like getting into his privacy.

But I was trying to create the contact with him. After 2 minutes, he called me. I walked closer and he asked me in Vietnamese if I was married.

Then, I knew my approach strategy had worked. After 1 minute of discussion, I showed him my camera and he smiled and nodded, for me to take his photo.

Sometimes it is just about showing interest and curiosity and being respectful of the people. Most people of South East Asia are very nice and friendly, and allow people to take photos. But a first step is needed.

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Etienne

Founder of Pics of Asia, Etienne is a teacher with a photography habit.

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