Confidence As a Photographer – Mike Browne

Confidence As a Photographer – Mike Browne


someone sent me an email a few weeks ago
asking can an introvert become a good photographer I’m not gonna name this person, let’s just call him john smith. well this series of photography they’re about exactly this kind of thing. It’s about finding confidence in yourself your abilities and indeed the
others around you. Let me just read you the email. One question about photography that’d i’d really appreciate your advice on is this
can introvert become a good photographer and are there any ways that you’d really recommened to become less shy when taking photos in
public I would really love to gain more
confidence in taking photos in public, places I’ve watched a few videos on street
photography and would love to get to that level of confidence, I’ve signed up to number forums where I can upload some pictures and ask for critiques I would love to do photography as a hobby. however my general lack of confidence is what stops me, part of me feels that i’m too old to get into photography in brackets twenty-five years should I
have been brought up with a camera this would be
something that may have come more naturally I would love to have a good
understanding photography as this could be something that when I
get older and plan for family could be a shared interest however and I don’t feel I can be a role
model if I don’t have the confidence to do it
myself in a way I would be watching the game from the
sidelines whereas I would rather be playing the game. Well, age i’m too old to get into photography at 25? well I was about your age when I got my first SLR they weren’t DSLR’s in those days, no you’re never too old to start photography there are people doing my courses right
now who have taken up photography in their retirement if you double the time you have lived
and then spend the next 25 years learning you will still be younger than
I am confidence is an issue for a lot of
photographers so you’re not alone. especially when they’re starting out
somebody posted on our facebook page, about this a couple of weeks ago. Melissa who now administers the page
wrote a very moving piece about an experience she had when someone very publicly slammed her
and her photography they didn’t just say I don’t like this, they were really nasty now I can see from the number of
responses we’ve got to that post how much this actually affects people but think about
it actually very rare someone will be openly nasty as in this
instance and it probably sent him something
completely unconnected from you or Melissa’s photography but whatever if this happens to you ask yourself a
couple of questions does the opinion if someone this
unpleasant actually matter what would most people think
about someone who would be so rude and the rubber tree
in such a public fashion I’m pretty the most people would say
will forget them you know if they depend on what you’re doing to be happy and fulfilled
that is their problem now a lot of photographers feel self conscious when they’re in public place with all that kit, tripod, etcetera because they’re scared someone will ask
them if they’re a professional. Well what’s wrong with the truth? what do you think would happen if you were to say no actually im learning photography and I’ve come out to practice and figure out what all this stuff does they’d probably say to you, oh that’s cool you know i’d love to do that where are you studying? and then a conversation is born, and you never know where that conversation will end up. you could have just met love of your life, or the very least a new friend to go photographying with photographying whatever that is, but you never know the thing is it’s okay if you don’t know everything, do you think Ansel Adams Steve McCurry Cartier press
on surpassed your Salgado who is an absolute hero of mine me or anyone else didn’t have to start
somewhere so is a beginner you in some very fine
company there john also said I would love to have a
good understanding of photography well in another this series of videos I’ve asked the question how dedicated to photography are you is a link in the text below and
on screen my question back to you is this how much do you love to have a good understanding
of photography, let me rephrase that, how much would you love to have a good
understanding of photography enough to step over the shyness and go
out into the pitch and do it been I know it can be painful
if you naturally shy but all the best lessons and
achievements they always begin in scary land just take it one little step at a time if you wanna go shoot street scenes
don’t try to emulate someone who’s been doing it for years begins slowly, maybe with buskers or street perfromers who are used to being the center of attention try talking to them first, I know that may be scary for you but you’ll probably find they’d love you to
take their photos and if they don’t the worst they can say
is no and then it’s up to you to either let
that no stop you dead in your tracks or to politely say okay no worries sorry to trouble you and then you can go often come find
someone else to photograph the No doesn’t mean you’re bad and wrong and crap, it just means they have their own issue with something now as you practice this, there may be a few no’s along the way but I bet they’ll be more yes’s and as you collect yeses your confidence is going to grow now it’s always best to be honest tell
people you’re learning tell them you feel really shy and awkward and they’ll usually be able to relate to that and make an effort to help most people are great if you give them the opportunity it may take one person to start a war but it also takes any one person to be
open and friendly and in my experience that’s contagious if you’re into street photography and had someone act badly to you taking a picture is possibly because you are nervous yourself and you acting
strangely now we can all smell other peoples discomfort and they could probably smell it toand it probably made them feel uncomfortable and possibly suspicious of what you were doing, the only way to build confidence is not
to be stopped by your fear what people might think about you as you
take small steps and do things which are uncomfortable
for you now you’ll find that fear begins to diminish fear rarely real or justified in societies which most of us live in thes days th place to begin is that first small step out onto the pitch with everybody in the
stadium looking at you and that probably a scary place for some of you but these people looking at you they
probably just thinking this is an interesting person I wonder who they are now of course inside you the self
conscious part is shouting but no I’m no interesting stop looking
at me but that’s not your choice to make
because to them you might be interesting and maybe just maybe they’re right. subscribe to our YouTube channel to be
notified each time we out like one of our cool photography videos well for more great photo tips workshops
and training come in CSR website photography courses
da pace

100 thoughts on “Confidence As a Photographer – Mike Browne

  • July 27, 2014 at 10:02 pm
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    Today, technology has changed the playing field.  I started at 30.  In the old days you could not just sit on youtube and get free lessons all day.  Start at any age.  The training is there.

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  • July 27, 2014 at 10:06 pm
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    Its not really that hard to learn photography. Just start small and work your way up. Start with a basic camera DSLR or something and a basic zoom lens and one or two primes but don't break the bank.

    Mike Browne has a lot of great videos start with his first video and work your way to his newest video.

    If you try to jump right in and do everything the pros are doing now you'll be lost. Think of it going to the first grade and working your way up to 12th grade then college.

    Trust me it might take you a few months of a few years to get good but it will happen overtime. Take photos for fun I find makes you a better photographer.

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  • July 27, 2014 at 10:28 pm
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    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” -Dr Suess

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  • July 27, 2014 at 11:12 pm
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    "If you double the time you have lived, and then spend the next 25 years learning, you will still be younger than I am". Since he/she is 25 years old, that would make you at least 75 years old… No way…!

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  • July 27, 2014 at 11:39 pm
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    Introverts like us can make excellent photographers as we often see the world differently than others. There are also many different styles of photography, some of which may be more comfortable and inviting for introverts. I personally enjoy landscape and garden photography over people photography. 

    When I get anxious, I often remind myself: "What other people think of me is none of my business." Best wishes on your photography adventures, "John."

    Excellent video, Mike — thanks for your compassionate and supportive response to "John's" concerns.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 12:09 am
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    I would just add that when photographing buskers it's polite to contribute something to the hat, at least I think it is.

    I got my first camera when I was 35 but then stopped taking photographs for many years due to health problems. I'm just now getting back into it at 65 and I don't intend to stop no matter how silly I look!

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  • July 28, 2014 at 12:13 am
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    dang Mike. Not only talented, but such wisdom. Wonderfully put.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 12:29 am
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    That is me, a retiree who has fallen in Love with my camera's. I cannot wait to go to a park or the city.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 12:30 am
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    If people cannot give an honest opinion without being cruel or rude, then their opinion is useless.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 12:39 am
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    Ok, I'll be 38 in a month… I started not even 2 years ago to get into photography again, with the purchase of my first "serious" camera (which was still just a good compact, a used Fuji X100) after the old SLR from my school days. Before that I worked for a photographer and thought I could never pick it up myself, everything there told me "don't even try, you're too bad". I only photoshopped, no idea about what he was doing at all, when he told me what aperture he used on a photo I gave him a blank look and smiled because I had no clue.
    Quit that job 3 years ago, got out of everything professionally related to photoshopping and graphics stuff and after I got the Fuji just started taking concert pictures, because I go there anyway. Free models, yeah! I recommend a silent camera though.
    Then I wanted to take more pictures of real persons, tried street photography but was too shy to ask single persons. Two ways out of it… one, I did the beggar thing. I asked beggars and homeless people for a photo and gave them some Euros. They rarely said no, often were even happy. I had my lesson in shooting strangers and the pictures weren't so bad either. One night I went out with some small prints and handed them out to them, sympathy points. One of them even became a "regular model", every time I meet her I get a smile, we talk a little, she gets 2 Euros and I get a portrait.
    The second step was registering on an online platform where amateur models and photographers can meet up. It always starts slow, but soon I got the first one who'd show kindness to a newbie and I got into it. Been there for 4 months, this week alone I have 3 different models on a trade-for-pics base and I've learned a lot just from experimenting every time again and trying new stuff. I don't even consider doing this on a professional basis, but must say I'm getting prouder and prouder of the results.
    Maybe that helps a little. 

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  • July 28, 2014 at 2:52 am
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    Thanks a lot for the video.  On July 4th, I shot our small town flag raising event and several of the booths for the downtown festival but I stayed aloof.  I wasn't trying to be dodgy and hide in corners or anything but I've never been someone who can just talk to strangers.  I got some "ok" street pictures, but no really great pictures.  I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that I was so far away. 
    A couple of weeks later, I saw Mike's video in the market and I figuratively facepalm'ed myself.  You know, it never occurred to me to just interview people and ask what their booths were about and if I could take pictures.  I bet I could have got some really great pictures.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 3:47 am
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    25? Good golly Miss Molly, if 25 is too old, then I should toss my camera in the bin and that's not happening.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 5:56 am
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    Well said Mike.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 10:01 am
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    Brilliant video, not just for aspiring photographers.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 10:35 am
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    GREAT advice, thanks so much!

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  • July 28, 2014 at 4:49 pm
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    Hi Mike – thank you of this video!  as someone that has some of the same shy feelings, your input is great.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm
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    Ive been semi pro for just over a year and i am quiet and a bit shy but when i start work on a shoot i forget that people are watching and lose my self in the job because theres so much to think about. I also do it as a hobby because its a good way to learn, doing street photography is a great way to build confidence too.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 8:40 pm
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    Thank you for this video, Im 31 have have been into photography and got my first DSLR about 18 moths ago. It all started with astrophotograhy and spiraled off from there. But im a real introvert and very shy to take photos, ive found that nightclub photograhy has helped with this somewhat as there is no pressure and get approached to take a photo of a group of people out having a good night,
    From this I have had friends and their friends ask to do a few family shots for them and have aslo been asked to do a wedding for a good friend of mine, this is a little more scary for me as the pressure to get their memories of the day right, Plus having to find the confidence to pose the couple.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 9:52 pm
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    I liked Mike's comments on this subject. While I am not shy, I ws hesitant to start taking pictures. But at the age of 44 I bought my first DSLR and I have had a lot of fun, and success taking pictures.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 10:48 pm
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    Well said, Mike. Thank you. As simple it sounds, as hard it is to practise in the beginning. But you are absolutely right in what you´re saying. I started out with markets and streetartits and often a smile is the only thing needed to break the ice. Nowadays I feel much more confident, when I´m out on the street shooting. Keep it up, Mike, your videos are really really helpful.

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  • July 29, 2014 at 12:42 am
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    Well said MIke.

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  • July 29, 2014 at 5:48 am
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    Brilliant, Mike!!  An awesome insight into the human condition!

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  • July 29, 2014 at 11:02 am
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    As always, great words of advice. 

    When I hear or see people belittling others; even when I do it myself without thinking, I'm reminded time and time again of a book that I truly believe everyone should read. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.

    I think that all of this can be summed up with the following statement that my grandmother (God bless her soul) always told me: "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say it."

    Thank you Mike.

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  • July 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm
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    I've always assumed most photographers are introverts. Photography seems too quiet and introspective an occupation to be done by an extrovert! But of course that assumption is wrong now that I think about it. But I do think good photography is hard work: a lot of thinking, actively "seeing", and physically moving around to get a good shot. Also, to be honest, it can be quite a lonesome activity because you're always outside of the scene that is shot, be it a group of people or even scenery – you are by definition not the centre of attention; your subject is. (I got your point about walking into a stadium full of people but seriously, how many times does that occur in a photographer's lifetime??)

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  • July 29, 2014 at 6:25 pm
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    I started digital photography at the age of 42 and learned everything by myself (all the buttons on my dslr, photoshop, lightroom).

    I'm shy too, but often asked to photograph weddings.

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  • July 30, 2014 at 10:56 am
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    Whenever I'm shooting outdoors, I feel most comfortable in an isolated spot, it's like my domain, my comfort zone. But as soon as someone steps into my ''territory'', I start feeling restless and insecure. There is, however, an underlying problem, I'm not a very social person to begin with. Devoting time to mingling with people and getting out of my cocoon is something I've always overlooked, but not any more. If ever my photography is to blossom into a business, I'll have to interact with people anyway, so introversion is no longer an option.

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  • July 31, 2014 at 1:41 pm
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    Hello Mike, another Mike here!, I've just taken up photography, and will be lurking around your Facebook page and youtube channel  to get some tips. I'm 25 and have just recently got into photography (as a hobby), my parents made me enter a wildlife photography competition for amateur photographers! fingers crossed I really enjoy going out and snapping, not had the confidence to take pictures of people at moment! All the best Mike! 

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  • July 31, 2014 at 3:32 pm
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    Just get out there and do it is the best advice. 

    When I bought my first DSL and went to a local HS football game (a night game), I brought the camera (with the kit lens) and shot a ton of photos – I was trying the rapid shoot setting.  Next to me was a guy with a monopod and a huge lens.  I felt a bit silly compared to him, but said f**k it. 

    I got a ton of shots, and not one of them was any good.  😉  Still, I learned a ton about iso and shutter speed, and the limits of my lens.  You don't learn if you don't try.  And when you feel like you look silly, well… you might look silly.  🙂  Screw them.  You're a beginner.

    I probably should have spoken to the gent next to me to get some advice.  (I felt a bit shy however.  grin)  Next time, I'll have a bit of the lingo under my belt, and can feel more confident about asking good questions.  People LOVE to talk about their hobby.  Rest assured, they will be happy to talk your ear off. 🙂
     

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  • July 31, 2014 at 3:38 pm
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    Oh, another great thing about shooting in a crowd/party/event… You can hide behind the lens.  🙂  I was at a wedding and starting shooting in the evening when the photographers went home.  I wasn't really interesting in mingling so the lens kept some nice distance between me and them, without looking like you were avoiding them.  It was a fantastic amount of practice, and the bride and groom benefit from the few good shots you get, since the photographers had already left. 

    And….  Most people will look at you and think you're the bomb since they know even less about camera gear.  My crappy 55-250 canon zoom looks fancy to the unknowing.  😉  I was standing on tables and chairs, crawling on the floor near the band, etc.  And, with a zoom, you can take photos from a distance without people even knowing.  A fun way for an introvert to insert themselves into a party.

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  • August 3, 2014 at 2:44 pm
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    The beauty of photography is that there is so many wonderful things to take photos of, for example, landscapes and nature, architecture, animals and wildlife, objects, cars, motorbikes and so on. If you feel   uncomfortable shooting the public, such as weddings then  don’t  do this type of photography, the world is your oyster with things to photograph.
    I’m not shy, but I have a introvert personality around people so this kind of photography has no appeal to me, I might take shots of my family but that’s as far as it goes, why do something you don’t feel particularly comfortable with?  Street photography is easier as people shouldn’t be aware of you.
    Shoot what makes you happy, I’m also just a novice and I don’t give a damn what other think of my photos, photos are for my pleasure and my memories, you’ll always get some cocky guru with their heads up their butts….ignore them.
     
    Then practice, practice practice!! 

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  • August 3, 2014 at 4:23 pm
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    Totally agree, I was painfully shy, in fact still am. I use the " im learning" gambit also a number of other sly tactics to take peoples photo. Its all about a front that you put up, it's going to get a bit bruised but thats not you it's the mask.
    Also try useing a long lens and picking someone out of a crowd, looking as if your photographing something else and then quickly refocus on them, or my personal fave, I use a Canon DSLR with a flip screen and frame up the shot useing that, make people think your reviewing a shot. If you think that the shot is good enough to publish or keep THEN go up and ask them, if they say no then don't. if they do then take anouther ( the first one will be the best as its relaxed). You are learning and it's not the person you are photographing it's the subject (ok ok I know, work with it).
    After a while you will get so at ease with talking to people that the request is easy.
    My fellow officers will hate me for this but….ask a policeman, as long as he is not busy going to a call or speaking to someone then he/she will probably have no problem, but please remember they are people too and afford them the dignity of a refusal

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  • August 6, 2014 at 5:39 pm
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    Hang camera bag on one shoulder and an AK47 on the other – Happy shooting 😎

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  • August 7, 2014 at 1:40 am
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    Awesome video.  So many good points and extremely well spoken (as always).  I am one of those over 40'ers who recently got started in photography.  I have a busy non-photo job but look forward to those times that I can just get out and shoot….no matter what it is.  Weddings, parties, baptisms, nature, kid/family sessions, whatever. 

    Confidence comes from internal and external sources.  I find it's way more important to shoot for your own enjoyment rather than for someone else's approval.  That said, I was recently paid $100 for a gig and it was a total rush – I don't need the $$ but loved that my work was appreciated by others.    

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  • August 7, 2014 at 9:16 pm
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    Hi Mike, thanks for the add. Loving the videos. May I ask a question. I'm buying a new tripod, would you like to do a review on a Manfrotto 190XPROL versus a Benro A1692TB0 Travel Angel II. Which one should I consider, Have you ever used any of these.? I have tried to see any comparisons but failed. Expert opinion from yourself would be greatly appreciated. I have taken to long exposure photography, so a sturdy light tripod will be required. I own a Velbon at the minute…..don't laugh..!! It was only £20 and my images are shocking…Many thanks for your time.My Flikr site is
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/derbyrocker/

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  • August 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm
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    While I have subscribed to your channel some time ago now it was a friend of mine, photo retoucher Ken Fisher, who shared the link that brought my attention to this video. VERY inspiring stuff Mike.. thanks for the upload.

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  • August 25, 2014 at 4:28 am
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    Hey Mike love the videos i have a few questions if you get a chance email me please [email protected]

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  • August 28, 2014 at 2:24 am
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    Introversion is not the same thing as being shy or lacking self confidence. Just because someone prefers solitary activities it does not make them broken. Nor does it mean that an introverted person can not interact socially or are crippled by self criticism.

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  • September 3, 2014 at 1:32 pm
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    totally agree.  I go into town looking for buskers throw a couple of ££ in their hat and ask if it ok to shoot – they're performers they love being in the limelight.  I took loads of pics and showed them the images and got work from it (my first paid job) and I am a novice! oh and I got a free CD too.  Remember the people watching you take shots are no wiser of your level of skill and in most cases think you're a pro.  Just ignore everything other than your subject.  go for it

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  • September 14, 2014 at 4:05 am
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    Just wow. Thank you so much for that.

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  • October 18, 2014 at 6:26 pm
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    Great video. I really enjoy all your videos, but this one really hit home!

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  • October 29, 2014 at 6:38 pm
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    Do you know, is it always legal to photograph people without their permission in the united states? I've seen some great shots at the bay or beach or even at our lake in the woods, however i dont want to go against some privacy law and end up getting in actual trouble. For instance if i take the picture and they notice and say you know you cant take my picture its against the law, should i worry they're right, or say sorry and walk away knowing im alright. Thank you for your reply !

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  • November 1, 2014 at 7:31 am
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    The 'John Smith' is not an introvert, but a procrastinator. Instead of thinking (procrastinating) pick up a camera and get into it! Photography is very much learning by doing. Procrastinating is the opposite of doing.

    There are many introverts that don't procastrinate. Many great photographers are introverts.

    Is 25 to old to learn? Joe Buscemi, who is a top New York wedding photographer, started photography at 50. Joe is not the procrastinating type of guy, though.

    Moral of the story: don't waste your life procrastinating or worrying. Get on with it!

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  • November 3, 2014 at 9:20 pm
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    Great advice again, Mike … well, I started to think seriously about photography at the age of 48 🙂 had some contact in the 80s but never really thought about what I did at that time. I know that problem with street photography very well. In Germany and Switzerland many people react very rude when they recognize getting photographed in the public. Some were not far away from attacking me.
    But I have another problem. I think, my pictures really improved and so did my post processing skills in the last two years. Most time I photograph landscape, architecture and technical stuff like cars. But I would love to try doing pictures of people, portraits, weddings and things like that. The problem is not, that I'm not self confident enough with my skills. I'm pretty sure I could manage that. But when I'm working concentrated with the camera I start sweating really hard and I can't control that. That's no problem when I take pictures of a church or a car. I always carry a towel with me :). But I can imagine when I work with people they might be bothered by that and that would make a relaxed atmosphere impossible. Do you have any experience with that, any advice? Thx 🙂

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  • November 11, 2014 at 3:25 pm
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    great tips. I started last 4 years in my 40's. And looking back all the pictures i wished i stated earlier. And may be I won't be working 9-5 job which i hate.
    One thing that keep me insane and finding serenity is taking pictures. And for few minutes or hours i just feel free.

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  • December 8, 2014 at 9:15 pm
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    This has got to be the best photography video. Anyone can teach settings but to encourage confidence is a whole other level.

    As a beginner I watched this video every time i went out to shoot and it made all the difference in the world

    Thank you so much mike.

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  • December 19, 2014 at 7:35 pm
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    Great advice Mike!!
    I completely agree with you. No one was born great, and being good is just a matter of time and effort. Social scientists have already proved that most of understanding (about anything) can be achieved by almost everyone if you are ready to spend the time for it. 
    I am 22 and a beginner, I take photographs almost everywhere because I don't really understand where I can get better photos, so no harm in trying, and since most people are like you and me they have been good to me. I see being a beginner and any criticism as an opportunity to learn, learning is always good. My suggestion to John, don't lose yourself in the crowd better shoot them with a camera.

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  • December 22, 2014 at 10:29 pm
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    I do find these monologues quite inspirational. I've had the same kind of problem with confidence and getting out there, but after watching this I made a few small steps out into the big wide world. My other other hobby is playing guitar, and I'm often in the guitar shop looking and trying out different instruments, so one day I asked the manager of the shop if I could go in and photograph some of the guitars and he was only too obliging. He let me have the run of the shop and even let me photograph some of the staff playing the instruments. Even one or two customers let me photograph them too, Ok, it's not going out on the street amongst hundreds of people, but that follows. So my advice, for what it's worth, is maybe go somewhere that's public, but where you are comfortable and where you already know one or two people, like a guitar shop, or if you're into gardening go to a garden centre and ask there. Like Mike says, the worst they can say is no, and you just move on to somewhere else. 

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  • December 30, 2014 at 9:34 am
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    Great advise Mike, as always.

    I can relate to the issues raised. 
    I am enjoying taking photo's bit more in the last few months though. 

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  • January 7, 2015 at 10:52 pm
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    I'm the sort who's scared silly of any one I don't know well- a serious barrier to doing street photography. But the few times I've gone out and done it have been 100% positive. People are actually pretty cool about it. You'd be surprised. Just get out there and do it folks, it WILL build your confidence. 

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  • January 10, 2015 at 11:58 pm
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    I am 40 and looking into getting into photography…. Have no limits!

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  • January 14, 2015 at 1:55 am
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    Some great advice…my favorite response when someone asks if I am professional I tell them I am an "amateur with professional  tendencies" and I think most people can appreciate that, plus it possibly opens up the conversation to what I have done and maybe it will help me land another job.  When you're starting out, jobs can be few and far between so it's a good idea to always be promoting yourself 

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  • February 1, 2015 at 6:06 pm
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    Superb advice  – another excellent video! 🙂

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  • April 9, 2015 at 12:33 pm
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    4:38 All the best lessons and achievements they always begin in scaryland.! lol

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  • May 17, 2015 at 3:19 pm
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    Which dr from dr who said he never met someone who wasn't important? I was was at Indiana beach here in Indiana and had my camera on a tri pod to shoot a coaster. People were respectful and tried not to get in the shot when it would have been wonderful for them to be there. The point is; the majority of people are respectful of photographers and go about their lives. Remember, if the pic didn't come out right, shoot again. We aren't limited with film. Shoot away, practice and just have fun.

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  • August 13, 2015 at 7:46 am
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    Brilliant … Thank you

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  • August 17, 2015 at 10:31 pm
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    Hi Mike. I'm a beginner photographer (17) and I would say my biggest struggle so far is confidence, in things you said such as asking people to let me take their photo, fear of standing out, etc. But even watching this and realizing im not the only one, gave me a confidence boost. Very helpful video, thank you! Subscribed 🙂

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  • September 3, 2015 at 5:36 pm
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    I think this is your best video yet and must have helped a lot of people. Well done Mike.

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  • September 18, 2015 at 4:46 pm
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    Thank you so much for this video about "ME"! As you were talking I realized that in the biography of Ansel Adams, it was stated that he was also very shy, and would spend weeks alone in the mountains. For me, he is one of the finest photographers, thank goodness he did not allow his passion for photography give into his shyness. Thank you Mike.

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  • November 22, 2015 at 12:14 am
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    Very good and inspiring video.

    This can easily be extrapolated for any aspect of life. Specially for introverted people as myself.

    Thank you for the message

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  • December 15, 2015 at 1:40 pm
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    I found out that when I have a camera I have more courage to take pictures of anything. I go where the pictures are when I've got a camera in my hands. And the camera is a motive to get into places I wouldn't normally go. I can say that photography was one of the best things that ever happened to me… I'm going to take a professional photography course starting next year (most probable… Highly probable I will take it – something may change – I hope not).

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  • January 25, 2016 at 7:56 pm
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    I took up photography at 50 when a health condition meant I had to look at life at a slower pace. I've been a chef, law student and worked in a forensic learning disability environment. Each of these requires elements of self confidence, but there is no way I could ever work with a model – I just wouldn't have the confidence and would feel awkward. But put me in the country with a beautiful landscape or wildlife and even though I often fail I'm in my element, what I am saying is there are many different types of photography and rather than making yourself fit find a branch that fits you. As someone pointed out Ansel Adams was incredibly shy.

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  • February 22, 2016 at 4:26 pm
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    Hey Mike,
    You talk a lot of sense here and I really enjoy ALL of your videos.
    This one even more so. There are things in here you talked about I can relate to
    especially worrying about other people's opinions on my work.
    You are right of course if people don't like what I create it's no skin off my nose so why
    should I worry. Funny enough, as I've started telling them only of this morning: (build a bridge and get over it,) lol
    Thank you my friend and bless you
    Anthony Hedger, London, Enfield,

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  • February 23, 2016 at 11:10 am
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    Thanks for the link Mike

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  • March 16, 2016 at 9:30 pm
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    just the best video perhaps you've posted from my view
    great just great

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  • April 21, 2016 at 4:35 pm
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    Excellent video! I appreciate your unique and empathetic perspective

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  • April 27, 2016 at 8:46 pm
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    As always wize words Mike. Thanks for uploading.

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  • June 7, 2016 at 2:20 am
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    This is by far one of the greatest videos you have done. Luckily, even though I am an introvert, I am not too shy, but I know folks who are and I will be referring them to you. Thank you. "Failure" is fuel for success. One should not fear it.

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  • June 25, 2016 at 4:01 pm
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    A very interesting video Mike, and one I have come back to a couple of times.
    Being retired, I have now come back into photography more seriously now. Rather than just taking holiday and days out snaps.
    Looking back on recent photos I've taken, I have found that I'm spending less time in Lightroom, correcting exposures etc.

    There is one thing though, and maybe a subject for another video, although covered in this one to an extent. ?

    When I take a picture, I often feel I am putting myself under pressure to please other people, will this be good enough to post on a website, will others like it, Is the composition right, is it interesting etc…
    Then when I go to Lightroom, have I made the right adjustments, have I overblown the colours, should I make it look "arty"
    etc, etc.

    I don't subscribe to the theory that every picture has to be a work of art, with weird colouration or HDR effects.
    Should it be enough for a photo to be correctly exposed, well composed, and maybe tell a story. My way of thinking is,
    if I am happy with it, that's all that matters ? As you say, It is very easy to feel intimidated and be put off.
    Thankfully I am not, and feel a lot more confident when out with my camera. I think many others may be though.

    (AKA Alan Radley)

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  • September 15, 2016 at 7:54 pm
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    There are several ideas you can try
    Work out why you suffer from shyness – the first step in solving a problem is to understand why you have it.
    Be comfortable about yourself – this makes it easier when you are with other people.
    Challenge youself – you will become more confident by taking action – especially by doing things that stretch your boundaries.

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  • February 1, 2017 at 11:31 am
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    Awesome vid, you make my day.
    Continue creating vids, need more like you.

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  • March 30, 2017 at 12:52 pm
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    Great life lesson as well.

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  • April 5, 2017 at 1:24 am
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    Love your videos Mike, especially this one.

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  • September 2, 2017 at 11:10 pm
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    Jazz clubs. Been shooting for jazz artists now and have improved my exposure in low light and shooting amongst other people in the dark. These amazing musicians have become my friends. I have improved my social skills hugely by helping to promote them. They let me shoot and I gain practice. One night I was told that I was considered part of the band, so when I miss a gig I sometimes shoot even more the next time; what a beautiful feeling that was! Confidence grew and my street photography improved, leading to me shooting better portraits…..swear to you; if you know the musicians and you walk in the door with your tripod often the host/hostess will think you are the private, professional shooter and then you just gotta own it. Sneak your way in to a fancy place dressed like you are off to the beach; it is a great feeling.

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  • November 15, 2017 at 1:31 am
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    I'm 24 (going 25 in a few short weeks on the 27th) and i'm learning how to be a photographer. I'm still trying to figure out to get started and set my services. One idea I had to get started is 10 photos $10 or 5 photos $5, one flat price. don't know if that will work, but it was something i came up with that might get me started.

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  • November 28, 2017 at 10:42 pm
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    Mike you are a legend! Great video!

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  • November 29, 2017 at 9:33 am
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    Really struggling with lack of confidence, self doubt and anxiety atm, watching this video reduced me to tears because i know what you’re saying is right. I’m at the stage with my photography where i feel ready to make some money, but the fear of failure, screwing up shots, and the excrutiating mental pain of having people watch me etc is preventing me from making that leap. I know its all in my head, but sometimes its the scariest place to be. Thanks for making the video.

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  • November 30, 2017 at 12:42 am
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    If you want to shoot people, Hear is a way that even the shyest person can cope go to football games carnivals even horse racing places that have a lot of people but are not the object that you're shooting, It may help you break the ice.

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  • December 16, 2017 at 5:38 am
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    Hey Mr. Smith; I feel you. I am a naturally, extremely introverted shooting maniac. I am from Brooklyn NY. Began about a year ago, I am now 26 years old. I have a very nutty short story (so don't tell anyone) :

    I was living in a different country when I got bored so i picked up the old camera I had hauled with me and stuck it on auto (a wise uncle of mine had set it for me) and into a messenger bag once again. I walked out the door to look around…in short, I did not have the balls to pull out the camera until I found these three guys looking pretty happy playing music at a hip metro entrance near the big local art school. I pulled the camera out and shot six frames. total crap frames but locals started to look at me. I SMILED trying to look like a pro and not a tourist while in a state of panic until.. these people going into the metro started to DANCE to the music as they walked into the metro station. I am stunned and freaked out at this point but kept a SMILE on my face.

    those 3 guys were smiling from ear to ear, as they got more tips and a bigger audience. I threw 'em a coin, and they made hand gestures for me to stay. I shot several more frames for them and tried to say I would throw a picture on Facebook (I hate facebook). They understood eventually and laughed at me warmly, big smiles on their faces, I SMILED back. They waved to me as my heart was really pounding walking down to the station and tossing my camera back in my bag asap.

    PONDERING on the train, "I helped those students out! I helped build THEIR confidence! I am proud of myself. I also brightened some dancing locals' days. I was feeling warm and fuzzy inside." and BANG! "and I also built I small bit more confidence in myself to keep the street shooting".

    I tried to edit using iphoto with a little more confidence inside me. It is called PRIDE. You can't be scared of that Mr.Smith. Being proud of yourself will do wonders, I promise you that:) and your confidence should grow for street photography.
    PS. don't forget. A smile can help massively.

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  • December 30, 2017 at 3:02 pm
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    to: Mr. Smith
    soft as a pillow image of two of these performing chaps : https://www.clickasnap.com/i/0a7m2804vuomq9gw

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  • January 4, 2018 at 11:13 pm
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    You know what's funny; I've tried shooting street performers, like this one guy who was playing a banjo or something, with this big beard and a hat on. – I was taking a very candid picture, like 10 feet away, between a bunch of pedestrians walking by, and I kept out of his space and even somewhat out of his sight. But then he went "Hey! No no no!". So I went up to him to ask what the problem was, and he went like "You take picture but no pay huh?!". – I was thinking "Okay…" and I asked again what the problem was, but he seemed to not want talk or even face me as he packed up his banjo. Then I just walked off cause I couldn't even get into a conversation. – Very lame and shitty attitude from this small-ish old man to an artistic looking small-ish and gentle dude like myself. – You think you can connect with other artists (I'm also a musician), but then they act out over a distant picture. – That was my experience… And it didn't help my confidence… Just makes me put a lot more question marks with all people.

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  • January 22, 2018 at 12:17 pm
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    Well said Mr. Mike..:)

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  • January 25, 2018 at 12:22 am
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    wiped out and beat up, legs becoming tired and floppy I staggered to my favorite cafe in Paris. raised to not place items other than your meal at a table, I layed my camera down on the table. Heavier than it looks tripod up against the wall and pulled out my cleaning cloth from my bag. Someone was speaking three different languages at once. Cleaning my lens and UV cap (that I use on that lens because I am very clumsy and use it when shooting street to be less conspicuous) this bubbly waitress walked my way to check some order in the computer. My Spanish is crap, but I said "hola?", she turned, short word explaining where I was from etc. Lasted 20 seconds at best. I did not move my camera I was so tired and thirsty. She came walking back ten seconds later with a glass of water and asked me "what is your favorite thing to shoot?". I replied "well….people to be honest". blah blah blah: point being is she asked if I would shoot her. My eyes almost popped out of their sockets looking up at a beautiful waitress, warned her that I had shot street most of my photographic journey, but was really looking to shoot more portraits.
    I turned out to be the perfect muse. This young lady turned my life up-side down. A great friendship was born and all I had done was say hello to her. Never know Mr. Smith.
    Our friend Mike up here has met her and would probably attest that she and i made a fairly good team. She was kind enough to be the model in my one to one training day with Mike Browne. Unbelievably talented! this is one photo of her in London :https://www.clickasnap.com/i/77dqyh9ge2jnz5nt

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  • February 19, 2018 at 12:47 am
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    Don't forget to practice Mr. Smith. And I promise you that carrying a tripod around will make you POP as if you are simply a professional shooter trying to make a living :). Worst bit there is a beautiful young person ask you what you shoot. If this person needs or enjoys a photo shoot, warn them sweetly, that shows you are nut practicing, but would be delighted to give it a try. There are thousands of starving artists that need more images to help their names gain more exposure. Do it for free and they will be through the roof ! You will learn a lot as they show you how to pose a person etc.

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  • March 1, 2018 at 6:29 pm
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    Photographying is my new favourite word and is actually easier to say than the sentence it will replace when my wife says “and where are you going?”. Another superb video. My photographying started about a year and a half ago at the ripe old age of 58. I too know all about feeling self conscious and this and the previous video about feeling good about my photography are just the pep talks we beginners often need. I recently passed my bridge camera on to another potential new photographer with my best wishes, promise of support and one piece of advice, which was “watch Mike Browne”. If he takes it he will not go far wrong. Thanks again for another excellent video 🙂 now, where did you say that Facebook page was?………

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  • March 4, 2018 at 3:17 am
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    Well said! I have often felt this way (being shy about taking my camera out in public) but have managed to get around it. Having said that, one has to just go out and start shooting and enjoy the hobby (hobby for me).

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  • March 25, 2018 at 9:30 pm
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    I am loading up my booze bag; have my Uncle Al's SB-25 flash (bloody powerful) rigged on top of a one camera and my beat up SB-700 mounted on the my other camera. Shooting street with flash is a different ballgame for me and will be very tricky at first. Bleedin' double exposure to work with, or at least feels it. Excited though, try out something new and scare the living life out of me!!! But I have seen flash pictures and have two guns available, so I want to give it a lash after a day of work.
    I think, the same with shooting street without flash, one must be scared a few times, but in doing this the fear of shooting street will diminish. Once the fear is gone……what is left to be scared of?

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  • May 22, 2018 at 9:06 pm
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    Mr. Smith, on days when I am eager to grab my street shooting kit (that always includes a big smile), but find myself feeling a bit tired, which can lead to feeling more nervous than usual, I will often found listening to some music helps. I enjoy music very much. In turn, other feelings, including the ones that make me feel more uncomfortable.
    I am also a cheeky monkey, and this next bit may not be for everyone: I use my little earbuds as a phycological blockade. Stoping noise or moans from people who may be a tad disgruntled OR most likely in the event where I, MYSELF feel awkward after I press the shutter button, when most often people I think have been bothered, are really not at all. Or even the opposite.

    I had 6 girls walking together, wearing colourful attire and I had to try and grab them or I would kick myself later. I stopped right in front of them and shot three frames. Whistled pretending to look at the results on my LCD; They giggled like crazy and I smiled. (I keep saying it, but smiles are great). I pulled the camera back up to my face and shot three more frames because they had slowed down, flattered by the attention. I said "awesome clothes!!" as if I were some fashion photographer out for a stroll.
    Now, in my experience this works; most of the time. Obviously, not for everyone. If these girls reacted badly, i would have known right off the bat because their faces would not be showing flattery, or smiles through the viewfinder. Just drop the camera down, keep the music playing and keep walking. On to the next! 🙂

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  • June 17, 2018 at 3:56 pm
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    (Many) Years ago my mother in law and I were taking photos in the garden of the late Rosemary Very when somebody asked us if we were ‘trade’. We still laugh about it 😂

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  • June 18, 2018 at 9:46 am
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    I have had people react negatively, sometime getting violent, almost too many times as I pushed the limits of street shooting. Shooting in my home town. NYC. But after the second or third time the best way to blow it off was to stand my ground, let the person unload all the bollocks they wanted, and whilst all the time thinking of Ansel Adams and his patience. Then, (may sound crazy), they freeze looking at me; as if I were a boxer in the ring going to punch back; I would flat out ask them politely "would like to see the image, or like me to delete the image so we both can continue on our way?".
    (bare in mind, I am a big lad, which can make a difference, and have been motivated by the patience of Ansel Adams as I let another human being blow-up in my face. However, New York City is filled with people. If one stops walking then there is a 80% chance you will attract a crowd. This would embarrass the person you just shot a picture of, if they decided to stop to give you grief. Morally correct or not, I will exploit this. I am climbing for expressions and emotion in a photograph. Sometimes you may have to act a bit nuts. This exploiting tool can be tricky, so I would not use it right off the bat unless you are a local or just have balls of steel shooting street.

    As my grandmother would say "one does not need to go to a broadway show for some entertainment, just watch people. They are just as entertaining".

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  • June 20, 2018 at 9:08 pm
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    I thought i was the only one that knew about scary land. Great video

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  • July 18, 2018 at 1:34 pm
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    Wow … I am not shy at all but hell, that was strong. Very good and thank you 🙂

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  • July 18, 2018 at 1:40 pm
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    Mike is absolutely right. What you think others think about you is most of the time not right. Try something … figure out what your friends think about you, then ask them 😉 … they can help you to see stuff about yourself that you can't see yourself. Good and bad … but in the end … both is good because you are growing 🙂

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  • January 13, 2019 at 2:15 pm
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    By the way everyone be aware of the law of today in taking people and children. Go online and look up the law of what you are not aloud to photograph even as a pro there are rules that have to be followed.

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  • March 18, 2019 at 6:17 pm
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    "confidence is not something you are, it's something you do" @Jamie Windsor

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  • March 18, 2019 at 6:23 pm
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    embrace the fear. become that adrenaline junky, embrace the fear and do it! You will be much more self satisfied if you go for it and miss the shot instead of not pressing that shutter at all.

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  • March 18, 2019 at 6:25 pm
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    Mike, i got a problem and i may have to come to the UK and give a few people a bit of a push, because i love shooting street, as you may very well know.

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  • April 20, 2019 at 10:05 pm
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    Great video!

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  • June 29, 2019 at 8:08 pm
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    I'm going on the pitch as soon as possible…. Thanks

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  • July 1, 2019 at 7:49 am
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    (Alan) I was just looking back at some of your videos Mike, and came across this one.
    I don't know if it's something you do, but I've done it several times this year.
    When I'm out doing photography, I sometimes come across couples taking photos of
    each other. I step in and ask if they would like a picture of them together, normally using
    their mobile phone. I've not had anyone say no, and they are usually really happy to have
    someone offer. We were out at our local wildlife reserve on Sunday, and a young woman
    was taking a photo of her young son. I asked if she'd like a picture of them together, and
    she was so pleased that I'd offered. Saying she didn't have many pictures of them together.
    It's nice to be able to give something back to photography.

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  • August 18, 2019 at 5:07 am
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    Wonderful advice. Great.

    Reply

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