Thirty Days to Learn Your Camera; A Photography Boot Camp You’ll Love Lesson Eighteen

December 17, 2022

Let’s go!

Photo by Daniel Tong on Unsplash

A lot of my students love my unconventional exercises to learn the camera.

I like to give the gift of photography beyond what the F-stop, Shutter, ISO, and basic lessons can give.

So today, I am going to start a 30 day series as a holiday gift for you to learn your camera.

Even if you are a seasoned pro, I promise that you will take away some new skills from my series.

And the beauty of this series is that you can repeat the exercises as many times as you want to learn something new.

Before you get started with the lessons that I will be posting each day, make sure to follow me and subscribe on the following channels so you get all of the lessons:

Medium: https://medium.com/@charlienaebeck/membership You can subscribe and follow to read all of the lessons here.

Anchor: https://anchor.fm/charlie-naebeck You can follow and subscribe to my podcast What Would Charlie Shoot? here to listen to the lessons. The show is also available to follow and subscribe to on Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and where podcasts live.

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CharlieNaebeck. You can watch the lessons or listen here too. This is a relatively new adventure for me, where I removed all of my old videos when the pandemic hit. So yes, I have 9.48K subscribers there, but the channel has been inactive until recently when I started posting again. Don’t forget to subscribe, like, and turn on notifications.

Photo Coaching: In all transparency, I share these lessons so that you can grow, and if you need any help with questions about your photography or any of the lessons, I am available as a photo coach for you on Zoom. You can book a lesson for 1 hour with me for just $35 at https://calendly.com/cnpcall/onehour. I am happy to help if you need advice with your photography.

Photo Coaching: In all transparency, I share these lessons so that you can grow, and if you need any help with questions about your photography or any of the lessons, I am available as a photo coach for you on Zoom. You can book a lesson for 1 hour with me for just $35 at https://calendly.com/cnpcall/onehour. I am happy to help if you need advice with your photography.

After you finish following the channels to make sure you get all 30 lessons that I am going to be sharing (one each day until Christmas), proceed with the eighteenth lesson.

Lesson 18 exercise; Photograph a stranger and give them a picture

Photo by Tamarcus Brown on Unsplash

As we get closer to Christmas, let’s turn our cameras to give someone else the gift of photography.

Today’s assignment is to photograph a stranger.

Now before you say that strangers are scary, let me give you some tips on how I have photographed strangers before.

  1. Most of the time the stranger is more afraid than you are.
  2. Approach someone that looks like you as an easy in for starters.
  3. Wave and smile when you ask someone to pose for you. Don’t scowl, people don’t like that.

With that said, today I am going to tell you a couple stories of how I approached strangers to photograph in my own work to give you some courage and inspiration:

One time I was walking in the streets of New York, and I saw a woman in a very shiny and sparkly dress.

I was photographing for several publications that did street style at the time, and I knew that this woman would be a wonderful fit to write a piece on.

She was on her cellphone, and I did not want to interrupt, so I simply waved to her to get her attention as I smiled, and I pointed to my camera and pointed to her.

She gave me a nod of approval and smiled in return.

I made the image, and she ended up on page 6 of a very notable newspaper at the time.

Another time I saw a gentleman with a cat in his backpack.

I thought how odd that someone would carry their cat in their backpack with its head poking out, and the cat would not jump out and run away.

I knew that the cat was my “in” with this gentleman as he clearly cared about his cat enough to carry it with him, so I simply called out to him and said “Hey, nice cat, what kind of cat is that?”

The man stopped in his tracks and smiled as he started to tell me the story of his cat named Tally.

He was from Brooklyn on his way to the Bronx to see his father, and he could not leave his cat home by its self during long days, so he trained his cat to ride in his backpack.

I made a wonderful portrait of the man and his cat in Union Square, and ended up sending him a portrait via email to say thank you.

The man emailed back many weeks later and thanked me as he shared that he made a framed portrait of him and his cat for his Mom for the holidays. She loved the gift.

So today, when you ask a stranger to pose for a portrait for you, don’t be scared. Think of it as an adventure. And be respectful of people too. Everyone has a story to share, and if you give someone a genuine compliment, it can open doors to a new friend.

If anyone says no for any reason, no worries. Choose someone else to ask to pose for you.

Here is the exercise:

Step 1: Grab a snack and a beverage to get some energy to prepare for your shoot.

Step 2: Choose a busy area that has several people to head to with your camera.

Step 3: Sit in one spot if possible and wait for someone interesting to walk by.

Step 4: When the individual that you would like to photograph walks by you, try calling out to them with one of the techniques that I mention above to smile and point to the camera, and then point to them, or give them a genuine compliment and strike up a conversation before asking to make the portrait. If you need a scapegoat for this exercise, tell them that your teacher (me) gave you a horrible assignment to photograph a stranger, and would they please pose for you. They will normally laugh and say yes to this.

Step 5: Prepare yourself that many people may say no before you get a yes. Don’t take it personally, people are in a hurry around the holidays and they may have an insecurity that makes them to not want their portrait captured.

Step 6: Once you get your portrait of your stranger, make sure to ask them for their name and best way that you can send a copy of the image to them. This could be email or socials that normally work best.

Step 7: Return home and load your image onto your computer and feel free to edit to your liking. Give a copy of your best images to your new friend (no longer a stranger) if possible.

Step 8: Post your best image of your new friend to social media and tag #shareapicturemagazine and #thankyounewfriend. Suppose you want to contribute to the community. I run for my students, also. In that case, you can visit https://shareapicturemagazine.com and follow the contributor instructions there.

Bonus: If you like to write, take a moment to write about your experience and share what you felt as you explore the exercise. You can also repeat this as often as possible from different starting points.

Remember to follow and subscribe to the above links for tomorrow’s exercise.

Good luck, and happy shooting!

Hi, I am Charlie Naebeck

I am a husband, photography coach, photographer, writer, podcaster, Youtuber, entrepreneur, and adventurer.

If you like what you read, please consider giving me a follow here on Medium.

I do Zoom photo coaching with students in over 42 different countries, and I would love to help you to inspire you with your photography goals also.

If you want to chat about photography coaching, let’s jump on a complimentary call together at: https://calendly.com/cnpcall/30min.

Oh yeah, I also have a podcast, and a Youtube channel. Please go check those out also and give them a follow.

Thank you!
http://www.charlienaebeck.com
Photo Coaching


Thirty Days to Learn Your Camera; A Photography Boot Camp You’ll Love Lesson Eighteen was originally published in Share a Picture Magazine.com on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.