Street photography/portrait Fremantle - Full Facial Tattoo

Kenny, Fremantle - Piotrek Ziolkowski, 2013  Click for full scale view.

Someone asked me yesterday about the picture of Kenny   - how was it taken, what settings, how did I approach Kenny etc...

If I was to break down the whole experience from A to Z it would be something like this:


Have your camera with you at all times and set up for your favorite type of shooting. This sounds easy but it's not really. You need a bag of sorts, something to carry all the basic gear, something light, durable, inconspicuous with fast access to your camera. Because if you don't have your camera in your hand, you are not ready.

You need to know what your style is or what do you want to capture. You set up the camera accordingly (action, portraits, landscapes etc). You need discipline as well and this is the hardest part.


You see/feel something in front of you, certain elements are coming together to create something special. Your interest is aroused and you see a potential in a person, situation, view...


You act on your gut feeling. You take your camera out if it isn't already in your hand and... ha, if it's people you want to shoot you have to overcome a natural and common reaction to not shoot. Not shoot because of fear of other people, of initiating of a conversation with a stranger, of rejection, of what other people will think of you etc. Unless you are a landscape photographer everything you photograph is a form of a social interaction. The better you are at dealing with people the better you photos are.
How to deal with strangers? Experience helps, alcohol helps (a pint or a glass of wine not six), a strong outside reason like shooting on assignment, your previous knowledge of the subject, or not thinking too much (jumping in) but just shooting. First step is uphill the rest is downhill.


It helps if you know what kind of a picture you want to take. Do you want it to be funny or beautiful, informative or interesting. Black and white or colour.
Do you post process your photos or you want it to be as good as possible out of camera. You need to know the defining qualities of a photograph you want to take.
All this thoughts and feelings will determine the composition, exposure, shutter speed, aperture and influence the subject.


You find the best shot and work with it. You use all your editing skills to refine the vision.