Street photographer Eric Kim recently found himself in New York, and on his last day there he visited Kane’s Diner, a spot that all his NYC friends insisted he must go before he left. After a meal of steak, eggs and conversation with his friendly waiter, he decided he would get his courage up and ask the waiter if it would be ok to take his picture.
Fortunately for us, he was able to attach his GoPro to the hot shoe on his Ricoh GR and capture the entire experience — from momentary hesitation through impromptu photo shoot — in the above POV video.
This friendly, respectful request approach seems extremely tame when you compare it to the other of Kim’s videos we’ve shared. In that video, he put the Bruce Gilden ‘invasive street photography’ method to the test, basically ambushing his subjects with his DSLR and a speedlight.
The approach he demonstrates above is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. After a moment’s hesitation, he gets up and simply asks if he could please take the man’s portrait — as Kim puts it on his blog:
There is no problem of asking someone to take their portrait. The worst they will say is “no.” The best is that they will say “yes” — and you will be able to connect more on a personal level with that other human being, and perhaps even get a decent shot as well!
That’s the point of the video: if you’ve not yet gotten up the courage to walk up to someone and ask them if you can take their picture, this’ll show you how it’s done.
And notice, even though Kim has been doing this for a little while (he even hosts his own workshops) even he still gets nervous and hesitates. Some say the nervousness and fear don’t even really go way, you just learn to ignore or push past them.
Environmental Portrait GoPro POV at Kane’s Diner in New York [Eric Kim Photography]