This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer
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TV cameraman (and, of course, TOP reader) Mike Plews wrote a nice comment to yesterday's post about approaching people in the street—he said that a tip he gives to "new kids" is to lose their sunglasses.
I second that. A few additional tips—keep your hands out of your pockets, and no hoodies! Light clothing helps too, in my opinion, unless you look like the business in dark clothing. Short sleeves in Summer—people won't think you "have something up your sleeve"! Anything that helps you look more like what you're presenting yourself to be can't hurt.
Like a vest. A photo
helps…even if you don't have anything to load into the pockets and you don't actually need the vest. Remember, people are going to be sizing you up quickly. Photo vests remain useful in that they look faintly silly so they're seldom worn as fashion—who would wear something so dorky unless they needed it?—so to many people they still telegraph "photographer." And that helps you with your bonafides.
Consider this guy. Who could take that dude for anything but a photographer? And note, no sunglasses, and nothing on his head, and light clothing, and nothing up his sleeve. He's old, too, which helps—people are less threatened by oldsters. If you're younger, you'd best be charming.
You might consider Lee's getup to be a disguise. He's a real photographer who has disguised himself as a photographer. 🙂
Of course, your attitude is the main thing. Peter's got mad skillz in that sense. Me, not so much.
If you're anxious, people are going to pick up on it right away. (Three guesses how I know.) As strangers appraise you, an anxious attitude is a turnoff. My advice is, be fully prepared for a "no" answer and have the ability to treat it like the proverbial "water off a duck's back." If you're all set and ready for rejection, then there's no need to be nervous.
(Thanks to Mike P.)
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