I was cueing for a meal at a restaurant on the south-bank when I saw Thomas with his mum, he was standing on a high kerb watching the people, he looked thoughtful. I asked his mum to allow me to take a photograph of him and she kindly agreed. I sent her a copy of the image and she was very happy with the results!
A big Thank you to Thomas and to his mum. Image made on the street using only natural light.
Thomas’ story that evening was a trip out to the Southbank for his mum’s birthday meal with friends. At the ripe old age of 10, these get togethers (where he is always the oldest child)can be tedious. He’d rather be playing football, but anything for mum’s birthday hence he was quite grumpy that afternoon. Well, a good opportunity for me to snap an interesting portrait.
People I didn’t know reloaded! I started making portraits in the street again.
One of the first, Maisy from Brighton, student. I photographed her on the south bank in central London. Image made using only natural light.
if you wish to learn how to take beautiful#photographs join our #professional#photography #courses in central London - see more here http://www.londondigitalphotographycourses.co.uk/courses_contents.html
I am still loving your work, and have found numerous faces here for inspiration. My next question is this: every so often, I come across a stranger who is so striking that I feel I am missing out on drawing them - How do you approach strangers and get them to pose for you? I wonder if American counterparts would be as obliging as Brits :)
Well, I am just asking the people to pose for me but to be honest I wouldn’t advise you to do that unless you will come across very confident in order to manage to convince people to say yes! If you fail to do so and they say no, it will be no, so, you will not succeed. It is a tricky game and all depends on your persuading skills, you need to be powerful and come up with something that will get their attention.
Sometimes I think it is my misson to capture the beauty of the strangers on the street and this is probably why it comes really easy to me.
I must stressed that Brits are not necessarily happy to be photographs, they are quite private people and it takes sometimes a lot of efforts to get them in front of the camera.
Soon I will be in America for the same reason, I can’t wait to get around with my camera in the most amazing country in the world!
I was running a course last winter and it was late when I saw this girl outdoor in front of a coffee shop. I asked my students to give me one minute and I run after the girl and asked her for permission to make a photograph. It was almost dark, light was dim hence I was worried when I pressed the shutter that the image is not going to be very sharp. I held my camera firmly, I held my breath and I squeezed the shutter gently. I looked at the screen and thank God the images was quite sharp. Thank you.
Unknown Model - image made on the street using only natural light.
Update 24th April 2012 - I finally found Florence trough a friend of her whom I photographed on the street.
Hi Ion, I love what you say about using photography to see the world around us with new eyes and make genuine connections with each other. I don't know anything about photography but I know I need to slow down and connect with the beauty around and within me so I feel this would be a great gift to myself to do a course. I am thinking of getting the Canon EOS 600.. Is this a good camara to get started with do u think? Many Thanks, Grace
Many thanks for your kind comments; photography is not necessarily about the camera, first, the eyes are the tools of the photographer, the light, and many other aspects are also important. Any camera is good and we use the cheapest cameras during our courses to prove that.
We would love you to join us, please visit our websites and let us know if you wish to attend any of our courses. We can also lend you a camera to practice with during the course, free of charge and then we can give you advice what camera to buy based on your budget and the photography style you wish to pursue.
Photoion Photography School™
mobile: +44 (0) 7930609714
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I was shooting indoor in a bar and went outside to get some fresh air. Camera was at hand at usual. I saw this guy, he looked at me, I looked at him and I instantly knew that I will soon make a couple of shots. I slowly pressed the shutter half way just to get the camera on as I was planning a candid shot but, somehow, he knew what my intention was. He asked me: what are you doing with that camera? I said, well, I am going to photograph you, if you wish. He said, yes, please. I raised the camera and looked trough the viewfinder. I saw his eyes, beautiful, I went further down inside and I was amazed of what I saw. He asked: are you going to take that picture? I said, not yet, I am not ready. I waited for a few more seconds until he gave me what I was after. His inner self! I found out later that he is a local guy from the fire brigade in my neighbourhood. If you are serious photography, be sure you are ready to learn new stories at all time.
Image made outdoor using natural light.
Dear Ion I love your 'People I didn't Know' portraits. They're amazing. I found your website when searching for photography courses. Can I ask you, did you use a special lens for those shots? What camera do you use? I was browsing your beginners course, wasn't sure which course would be suitable and whether you're going to run a course based on the 'People I didn't know' project for beginners like me?
thanks for your compliments, I am glad you’ve enjoyed the stories.
The lens I used for all these images was a Canon 70-200mm and the camera was a Canon 5D.
Yes, we at Photoion Photography School™ run different types of courses and workshops,and, as most of our students are interested in photographing people most of the courses and workshops have good topics on portrait photography including the beginners photography course (which include: approaching the subject, composition, lighting, camera settings, lenses, etc.) .
We have one specialised workshop on lifestyle portrait too.
Please follow this link www.londondigitalphotographycourses.co.uk/ for more info about our courses. If you need more help please do not hesitate to contact us:
Cinzia is from Italy and she lives and works in London doing live paintings restoration. I met her in London on the South Bank when she was hanging around with a good friend of her (Jon whom I will post a portrait in the next post). I spotted her straight away in the crowd (it was summer and it was Saturday very busy time). She posed for me with grace and huge pleasure and I was so happy to see the image on my camera’s screen. I just quickly realised that I captured another great story. I thanked her so much and she was pleased to see me happy. Thank you Cinzia
Image made on the street using only natural light
Here is Jon, Cinzia’s friend; after I finished with Cinzia pointed my attention towards Jon, he was not a subject to be missed too! Jon was a bit reluctant but in the end he agreed to face muy camera for a few seconds, and that’s exactly what took me to get his story too! Everyone was happy and after we have exchanged our contact details and a quick chat it was time for a beer. Thank you Jon.
Image made on the street using only natural light.
This is Kaucarlron, he is form south America, Guyana and he is working as a machinist (machinery) around London. I met him at the Food Market in London on the South Bank. I loved his expression and his features instantly and I stopped him and asked him to pose for me. He was happy to do that and I went back home with this very nice portrait.
Thank you so much Kaucarlron.
Image made on the street using only natural light.
This is Ka Wai Lo, she is a student and she studies arts in London; I met her on the street in fornt of the building where I live. I was coming back home and it was very late, it was about 11.00 pm and it was dark. Ka Wai Lo looked so great in that dim light; she was carrying 2 bags with some takeaway food form a local chiese restaurant. Somehow we got to talk (I must have done something) and then I asked her for permission to make a photograph. She agreed without hesitation; camera at hand and as always on and ready to capture new stories. As it was dark I quickly began to asses the environment and find some light! It was very dark and that made this difficult. Well, I juts looked around and I found an advertising panel, those lit by neon lights. I asked Ka Wai Lo to come close to the panel and I snapped a couple of shots. She was happy with the results, she has my business card (as all the models I photographed on the street) but she never got back to me for a copy of the image.
Thanks you so much Ka Wai Lo for this great portrait and please do keep in touch if you find this post.
Image made on the street using only natural light.
Ion, I have a suggestion: For those of us who cannot take your photography course, consider offering an e-book on what you know and what you do that make your portraits special. You need not think of this as a book or a major piece of work - just a targeted presentation on one niche of photgraphy, taking portraits in available light. I envision something simple, something you could do in a few day's time. Your sharing would be helpful to us. Thanks, Bob
Hi Bob, thanks for your suggestion, that’s actually a great idea indeed. Though is not easy to explain in words emotions and feelings and the way you have to communicate with your subject in order to get that great expresion I will definitely try put a book together soon on this subject. We are also working on putting together online courses on all subjects that we offer training face to face on. Best wishes and keep in touch. Ion
Beautiful portraits. Stunning images. I am so glad I found your blog. Just incredible work!!
thank you so much Tim, I am glad you enjoy this.
keep looking, more to come