This past weekend, I was down in Texas. The following is a photo I took while in Austin, at Callahan’s General Store.
When I took this photo, I wanted to do it as quickly and as discretely as I could. This was because I was afraid of being seen taking pictures in the general store, where real Texans really go to buy their boots, their hats, and their feed.
Thinking more about this fear of being seen, I realized that I still need build my confidence when it comes to taking photos, and I’m just not sure how to get more comfortable doing it.
In some cases, having the fancy camera gives me more confidence to take pictures. For example, in a tourist setting, an impressive camera can help me fake that I know what I’m doing, and I like to imagine the other tourists are looking at me with envy, thinking I’m a serious photographer. This allows me to feel more comfortable getting up close, or taking my time getting that just-right photo. On the other hand, sometimes I’m afraid to call attention to myself and my photo taking, and I want to just snap the picture quickly from afar. Especially everyday scenes, where I am afraid to feel like an intruder.
How do I become a more confident photographer? How do I balance getting photos that are closer to the subject and more intimate with not overstepping boundaries of being an “outsider” or being that obnoxious photographer? Is this something other photographers grapple with?