How to approach strangers for photography and not get rejected? The truth is you will be rejected 10% of the time. At least that is what I encounter from getting street snaps myself. On fortunate days, I will have great photographers who would collaborate with Wondermika on street snaps. But there will be a day when you’re just out shopping and you see someone with such amazing style that you just have to photograph them even if it means approaching them yourself. But how do you do it, what do you say?
People declined being photographed for many different reasons:
- They are shy
- They don’t think what they are wearing is nice enough
- They are in a rush
- They don’t feel comfortable speaking to strangers
- They’re not sure if you’re a real blogger or just plain creepy
Now, the reasons in red are beyond your control and I suggest that you move on and not take it personally. But the reasons in blue suggests that you can do something about it, do something to avoid it. You can minimise the chances of getting rejected. Here’s what I learned through experience.
Have a name card
Carrying a name card that says who you are not only helps convince a person that you will be snapping their pictures for blogging purposes but also helps them remember your blog in the long run. It also gives them the chance to check out your blog right after the snaps. Without a name card, anyone can claim to be a blogger. Well, name cards are easy to make and even non-bloggers can make a false claim but having a card really helps with making a first impression. By the way, because your name card will go to strangers, do not share any details that show where you live, work (if you have a day job) or your personal mobile phone. What you want to share are:
- Blog url
- Blog-related Twitter/Instagram handle and link to Facebook page (not your personal ones where you could be stalked)
- E-mail (an e-mail that you have set up just for the blog and not your personal e-mail)
This is my name card. On the front, I have my name, position and blog address. At the back are my contact details along with what else I do besides blogging (styling, writing, fashion direction).
Check out Wondermika’s social media accounts:
Start with a compliment
Every time I start approaching someone by saying “OMG, I love your style!” the response is more positive than ‘Hi, I’m a blogger, can I take a photo of you for my blog?”. Start with a compliment and then quickly ask if you can take a snap and why. Try this:
“Wow, you look amazing! I love your style. Can I take a snap of you for my fashion/beauty blog?” At this point, quickly give your name card and have your camera ready.
Use a camera instead of a phone
Yes, I’ve been there where all I had was my phone. And boy, did I get rejected a lot! Invest in a camera to show that you are a serious blogger. Some cameras can be found at cheap prices under $100. Thankfully, I was gifted a Samsung NX300 and a Nikon D40! With a proper camera, not only will you look convincing and more professional as a blogger, your blog will benefit from the quality pictures too! Getting a ‘yes’ to snap someone also depends on timing. So, it’s a good idea to have your camera ready to snap anytime. Wear it around your neck or in a bag. What you want is to minimise the delay that you will be giving the other person. Here are some cameras under AUS$150:
Olympus Stylus Vg-165 Digital Camera, AUD$69, from JB Hi-Fi which offer international delivery // Buy here //
Canon Ixus-132, AUD$119, from JB Hi-Fi which offer international delivery // Buy here //
Samsung Dv150f Smart Camera, AUD$149, from JB Hi-Fi which offer international delivery // Buy here //
If you’re a fashion blogger, you might want to look the part. And if you’re a beauty blogger, a great do will give them more confidence. It’s also about representing your blog in a professional manner. Check out this post on how some bloggers dress.
I hope these tips will be able to help you get those much needed street snaps! I’m not an expert but I’ve definitely learned along the way.
Do you have any tips of your own? Link it up here and share with Wondermika readers! Link away by clicking this button below: