Street Portraits Indonesia

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by StefanKruse, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    One of my ambitions when going on a holiday to Bali/Lombok this summer was to try and work on my street portrait skills. I find a lot of joy in seeing this kind of photography as it provides a great mix of travel, portrait, culture and street when executed well. So when I had the chance, which was not that often travelling with wife and kids, and took my E-M10 and 12-40mm and went looking for opportunities.

    Let me say straight up I found it very challenging. Constantly deliberating with myself how to go about it. Should I try to be casual and get a "natural" photo, which made me feel a bit creepy at times, or should I ask to take a picture which made it less "real". That mix of street and portrait is just so difficult. I asked my guide whether i could take pictures of people in markets and on tours to be sure I wasn't overstepping any social boundaries, and he said it was OK, people wouldn't mind, but it still not easy to stick your camera in the face of stranger and shoot away.

    Towards the end of our trip I found out that when I tried to be open and smiling and very obvious about what I was doing, I got a interaction with people that allowed me to take the shoot without intruding or changing their behavior, although many would smile after a while in the same place people would even seek me out. This approach was not always great for getting those documentary kind of shoots but it was a whole lot of fun.

    A waiter in Bali who I asked to take and he chose a great pose - here I think asking worked out fine
    A little Girl in a Village curiously looking out the window, this was more of a street shot no permission asked.
    I asked the mother if it was OK to take picture before the shoot and she said yes and carried on bathing her child (with such an image I am very careful to be obvious in my intend, as this could be sensitive, she was however doing this in the middle of the "street" so I figure I could ask)
    I bought some peanuts and asked if I could take the shoot
    This girl joined 2 local guides on a village tour and she took more pictures of my two boys (who have almost platinum blond hair and was quite the attraction in the village we visited). VillageGirl160707.jpg
    These boys strated posing the moment they saw me taking pictures VillageBoys160707.jpg
    This man invited us for traditional snacks, I tried to act the tourist shooting all kinds of shoots and in between the cover shoots I would close in on him. VillageGrandfather160707.jpg
    After shooting for an hour at a market I had lost a bit of my nervousness and was becoming a part of the scene, so I just sat down a shoot this guy paparazzi style. He gave me a bit of a look, but did not change what he was doing or say anything to me. MyChicken160708.jpg
    This is an example of being very obvious in what I was doing created a positive interaction with people. I was really looking for good shot of one of these great Indonesian women. combining their religious headscarf with a helmet. We had made eye contact when I saw her walking to the scooter and she gave me a big smile when riding past me. HappyRider160708.jpg
    Same story for the thi shot, this proud father walked by and I smiled at him, he stopped and smiled back proudly showing of his son. HappyFather160708.jpg
    I learned a great lot about this kind of photography and I really like it, but I know I still have a loooong way to go.

    I like the 12-40mm pro for its versatility but every now and hen I would have liked some more speed to get a bit more separation.

    Thanks for looking
    • Like Like x 2
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