How do you gain confidence in capturing people up close?
I know a lot of people have hang-ups and feel nervous capturing the public up close, in fear of getting caught or get into trouble. And if you did try out street photography you would prefer to use a good zoom lens and shoot from safety. The problem with that method apart from maybe looking creepy, your photos can become detached and have a feeling of voyeurism.
I love to shoot from various distances depending on the scene, but I really enjoy shooting super close within touching distance using a 17mm focal length. Apart from giving you a more dynamic photo, it allows the viewer to feel part of the scene whether they like it or not, and connect with the photograph. I love the detail and senses that can be captured, when shooting super close.
So how do you capture complete strangers, super close with confidence? Well you could do it the hard way like I did taking photos inside abandoned asylum’s in the dark by yourself or do Parkour. After doing those I had the confidence to do almost anything. Ok my more helpful advice is to attend events like festivals where there are a lot of people. The reason being you will have a great mix of people, who if they seen you taking photos probably would not mind or even not notice, as they are pre-occupied with the main event.
Look out for interesting characters and situations, as more often the people watching are more interesting to capture than the event itself. It is a great practice ground for you to train your skills and build your confidence.
So give it a try!