Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Respect Your Subject

Several years ago, my friend from National Geographic, Sarah Leen, gave me some good advice on photographing people: "Respect your subjects and they will respect you."

I thought I'd share this quick tip with you because it is so very important.

I photographed this Buddhist monk in Cambodia. The respect I showed him helped me capture exactly the picture I had in my mind's eye. Basically, he let a total stranger into his life - and trusted that stranger - for a few brief minutes. I think you can see the trust in his eyes.

Explore the Light - and respect the subject,


Carolina Mendez said...

Hi Rick
I fully agree with the fact of respecting the subject. I always ask the person if he/she would let me take a picture and it works wonders. The people tend to cooperate so much more and feel less intimidated.
Thank you for the advise!

Rick Sammon said...

My pleasure. Hey, I just noticed on your picture that you have your other eye shot. Best to keep both eyes open when shooting. That way, you can see what might enter the frame :-)

Becca said...

In poor countries such as Cambodia and other in SE Asia, do you give your subjects money when you take their photo?

Rick Sammon said...

Becca...I travel with a guide and I always give money to a local school. Better than giving money individually.

Wow Gold said...

fantastic blog.