One of the important aspects of travel photography is to capture the feeling or essence of the place. I am known for my architectural photography so when I’m out I am usually focusing on either architecture or landscape, but to really get feel for an area or place I believe you also have to photograph people in their surroundings. Sometimes I do this by asking someone if I can take the photograph, and in other cases it’s just capturing people in their daily lives.
In Italy it seemed that I was trying to capture people in their everyday lives, this meant with them not realizing I was taking the photograph. These candid shots should show emotion, tell a story and give a feeling of there surroundings. One of the things that I noticed in Italy was the Roma people and how they would beg for money. I have this one shot of a Roma woman kneeling down in front of a tin can, but you’ll notice she is peaking out and taking a look at me as I walk away.
There are street performers at every tourist location I believe you need to photograph them and capture the emotion of what they’re doing. The street performer in Siena was really working the crowd and I think this photograph really shows emotion that is as he plays the violin.
Another shot that I really like is photographed from the top of the bell tower in Venice looking down onto St. Mark’s Square. This is a shot of people in their everyday lives shot from a unique angle that I think makes a very strong statement.
Don’t forget you can also photograph the tourist photos of your wife or loved ones and have them become part of the story. This is a shot of my wife in Venice as she was waiting for me because I was photographing. I have a very understanding wife as she stood around quite a bit in Italy.
Sometimes it takes a little planning to get a good candid shot. In this case I noticed all these people walking into a church and as I was getting a little thirsty and needed a glass of wine, so my wife and I decided to sit at a little café right across the street, where it positioned myself so I could catch some of the patrons as they walked out with this wall right behind them.
Some of the best photographs are the ones where you’re at the right place at the right time. The photograph of the two young priests sitting in having a conversation was only there for a second before they both got up and left. Finding this little elderly Italian lady walking down this alley with an older gentleman watering his flowers cannot be planned, but I’m glad I was there to take these photograph.
As you can see even someone who doesn’t usually have people in their photographs, with a little luck and little planning, can take some good travel photographs with people in them.