Taking Pictures in PUBLIC: A Quick Guide


Howdy hi everyone!!

Today I want to talk about taking pictures in public!! I know this is a big ?? for many of you, and I get asked this question probably the most! So let’s dive right in. Here are my tips that I still standby today to hop over the anxiety and get right to content creating!



Keeping in mind the answer to “why am I doing this?” is such a game changer. You aren’t doing anything wrong, so why worry? It’s not a crime to take a picture, and if someone DOES scoff at you (I’ve only actually ever had this happen twice!) it honestly shows they’re uncomfortable, not you! Truly friend, the fact of the matter is most of the time people AREN’T WATCHING YOU. And if they are? Well, ya kind of just have to jump over that initial fear. If I’m standing in the middle of a busy high way to take a picture in a crosswalk, people are probably going to watch! But hey I want my shot so, WORTH IT. Mentally we think we are being noticed a lot more than we are. Don’t let being “in public” intimidate you, your vision matters more than that fear! If you let it get to you, it will show in your pictures (trust) and you will be all the more frustrated and disappointed. Remember why it is you’re doing what you’re doing, get outta the car, and let’s do this!


That brings me to my next point! It’s literally the weirdest thing, but when you THINK about how you need to “keep moving” in front of the camera, it makes your poses all the more awkward! I don’t know why it works that way it just does. But fret not! Bring some tunes, sing a song, or just wiggle it out! I’ve found music helps the best for me so usually I try to bring a speaker with me or I’ll literally just sing a song while we shoot (HAHA no lie) and it just helps loosen me up! Even if it’s not a truly candid shot, it makes the poses I do have planned look all the more natural because I’m being vulnerable. If you find your photos are stiff or you feel you look uncomfortable add some MOVEMENT into the mix!


I’m convinced you can shoot a picture virtually anywhere and make something fun out of it. Between all the programs and apps we have access to, any scene can be made into something fun! When planning a public place to shoot at, it’s always better to have a plan. That takes away like 98% of the stress. If you know what you are planning to wear, the poses you want to capture, and the sort of colors you want featured (even if you’re going to edit them later, you still want to keep this in mind) that makes finding your location all the more easier! You don’t have to always leave the house with the EXACT location in mind, but having a ballpark idea is always helpful! I have had so many days where I didn’t do this and we literally end up wasting hours trying to come up with something on the spot. My pictures end up looking lousy because I had no idea what I wanted out of them!


Now that I’ve boosted up your true bad assery, let me remind you to be respectful!! Stepping out of your shell and getting that shot is GREAT so long as you remain respectful. Pay attention to your crowd. Is it busy? That doesn’t have to deter you completely, but asking if it’s okay to take a quick picture on a busy sidewalk is perfectly acceptable. If you want to take a picture in a cute restaurant but it’s busy and you want to keep out of the way, confirm with your host or hostess that it’s okay and what their policies are! There is a balance between being bold and being inconsiderate. And if the answer is no, don’t sweat it! Have a back up plan and be flexible. Don’t quit! There is always an alternative.


I practice new poses all the time! Usually with music on, and ALWAYS in front of my mirror! It works wonders to help me get an idea of what a pose looks like in real life and helps me envision what it’s gonna look like on location. Sometimes I’ll even show Thomas the pose too so he can know what I’m going for when we are shooting! This also helps even further being comfortable and knowing what you want to capture when it’s go time.


I am a major extrovert, but Thomas could not be more of the opposite! He is such an introvert and is incredibly uncomfortable being put on the spot, being in anyone’s way in any way at all, and causing any kind of issue (even a potential issue). If I had an idea and he wasn’t comfortable with it, the shoot ended up being stressful and just all around unpleasant, or it just didn’t happen because I wouldn’t want to cause HIM anxiety. Together we have really grown and found our rhythm over the last couple years and now even HE suggests public shoots all the time! But that took time to really figure out how to do this and what works for us. Being that my boyfriend is my photographer, we have had a lot of time to really get this down! It works best for him if it’s in and out, and if I know what I want beforehand. I have also worked with professional photographers just on a one time basis that I didn’t know were uncomfortable shooting in public, and that meant coming up with new content ideas ON THE SPOT. Not fun. MORAL OF THE STORY: make sure that your photographer is comfortable and good to go, otherwise things will be rushed, stressful, and uncomfortable!

And that wraps up my Quick Guide to taking pictures in public! Remember at the end of the day, it’s just a picture. Walk into a situation with flexibility and remember that if it doesn’t work out today there is always tomorrow. I hope you found these helpful, and let me know in the comments below any other tips you have or which of these you have already tried!