It’s usually around the early -ber months when Photowalks start to pop up. “Worldwide Photowalks”, “Global Photowalks”, or Camera brand sponsored photowalks. Actually, there’s two happening today that I know of; the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk (#SKWWPW), and Instagram’s Worldwide Instameet (#WWIM).
Photowalks basically means exploring a place while taking photos. You can do this anywhere anytime, all you need is a camera. I’ve been on many photowalks ever since starting photography, probably because I’m mainly a street photographer. Most of the time I’m on the streets
begging shooting. I’ve joined the Old School Meets New School, the annual SKWWPWs, Zerothreetwo’s Meet the Streets photowalk, let’s even include Sinulog and other random photowalk events.
With that said, I’d like to share a few tips, guidelines and experiences to those who plan on doing a photowalk for the first time.
1. Establish a buddy system if you’re in a group photowalk. The buddy system is really useful especially if you’re in an unfamiliar place. Just take turns shooting and watch each other’s backs. Get to know your groupmates even if you only meet for a short time.
2. Organized photowalk events usually have a planned route. Stick to it and don’t stray far from the group even if you’re with a buddy.
3. Only bring what’s necessary. Leave the heavy gear at home. Try to take note of what you want to achieve on the photowalk. If you want to practice using your new lens, then use that one lens for the entire walk. Focusing on one lens will yield better results and you’ll spend less time changing lenses. Anyway by the time you change the lens, you’ll have already missed the shot.
Also, leave your bling-bling at home.
4. Don’t be a spot hogger. Be mindful of your environment and your groupmates. Don’t block their shots.
5. On photographing the poor – for street photographers, this is a taboo of sorts, earning the term Poorism. However, every starting street photographer doesn’t know this. Many may consider photographing the poor as part of street photography. I can’t really blame them because that’s what we usually see in photography contests, even in indie films.
Some “experienced” street photographers will directly bash and ridicule these starting photographers at the point of discouraging them. This should not be the case because if no one is going to photograph them, then who will? A good guideline for these starting street photographers is whether they photograph the poor humanely, and not just consider them as a news article.
Personally, if I have a groupmate who wants to photograph a homeless person, I’ll let him be. As long as it is done the right way and not just shoot and run. Knowing that Poorism isn’t part of street photography is essential for a growing street photographer. Unless you have a good story to tell about that homeless person in your photograph, try to steer away from Poorism shots.
6. In connection to the previous guideline, interact with your subjects. A simple smile or nod can go a long way. Asking permission or saying thanks is even better. Now, some of you might ask, “Isn’t street photography about taking candid shots?” Yes and No. Street photography is so broad that is has branches. There are decisive moments, Juxtaposition, Surrealism, Multiple subjects, and Street Portraits to name a few. Street Portraiture includes a lot of interaction. If there’s a chance, try to interact with your subjects. Everyone has a story to tell. You’ll be surprised talking to them might be better than taking their photos.
7. Last but not the least, wear comfortable shoes. Enough said.
Photowalks are fun. Aside from gaining new friends, you get to practice the technical and artistic aspects of photography. Any starting photographer should experience it.
Next week, we will announce the winner of the October Photo of the Month. Here are the featured artists this week:
Have you tried joining a photowalk? How was your experience? Tell us on the comment box below. 🙂
Check out the other contenders for September Photo of the Month:
Next week will be a whole new set of selections for October Photo of the Month. Want to be featured? Post as many photos as you want and tag it with #032igers for a chance to be selected next Saturday and win Zerothreetwo merchandise for our Best Photo of the Month. Suggestions are also welcome. Comment their usernames or have your friends tag their photos.