It’s always a good idea to shoot weather pictures whenever the opportunity presents itself. Hot, cold, wet, windy, snow – you get the idea – any extremes or unusual conditions can always make for half decent pictures and with the nations obsession with the weather they feature a great deal in the papers and work well as fillers. These are a few from earlier today, during a scorcher of a day in Salisbury that I quickly shot after finishing another job. I then turned them black and white in post afterwards – I like black and white for personal use but I filed colour versions.
Dexter Smith aged 3 from Salisbury enjoys the sunny weather
Even though, from a legal point of view, you can shoot pictures in public spaces of anyone, within the bounds of decency, I always think it prudent and common sense, especially in these times of paranoia by some of the wider general public (not helped by some of the media either) to identify myself to those I want to shoot.
A couple share lunch in the shade of a tree
I’m very obvious when I shoot these type of pictures and will identify myself as a professional photographer by introducing myself and who I’m shooting for. I will have my NUJ press card on display or will show it to identify myself and I walk around in a way that, I hope, makes me look like I’m working and not some dodgy geezer!
A couple stroll along the riverbank in Salisbury
It makes sense really to be up front about your intentions in these situations and besides I was carrying a couple of Nikon D3 cameras fitted with a 24 – 70mm and a 70 – 200mm, a couple of flashes, some belt pouches and my daysack with a laptop in for editing and wiring my pictures so I was hardly in stealth mode!
Ane-Marie Anton and Ethan Richardson share a picnic in the grounds of Salisbury Cathedral
If you approach in a confident and respectful manner and explain why you want to shoot some pictures most people are happy to oblige. Some will ask if they can get copies and I normally hand out one of my business cards to them and if they email me I will send them the picture I take of them. This I’m happy to do and it also adds further credibility to my request. Some will of course prefer not to have a picture taken and that’s fine – don’t take it personally and if you haven’t got your confidence up it might put you on the back foot a little but keep at it and learn to move on to someone else.
A couple take to the shade in the height of the warm afternoon
My general rule of thumb, and a requirement for press work, is that anyone I interact with and ask to shoot pictures of I will get their names – and especially for the kids, their names AND age. If they can’t be identified in the picture or can’t be disturbed – like the chap sleeping on the bottom picture here – then I won’t. The exception to this would be if a picture presented itself and I really liked it and wanted to use it for a particular reason then I would make a point of getting the names from them for the captions.
Lindon Mason from Salisbury relaxes on a bench next to Salisbury Cathedral
So the next time you have a discussion with someone about the weather – as British people it’s what we do! I guarantee you that there will be pictures to support whatever weather conditions you are talking about. So grab your gear and head out, approach people with confidence, and take some pictures of the nations’ favourite subject.
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