Visualization: How to Overcome Your Fear of Photographing Strangers

A graphic visualization made by ANNETTE KIM on how you can conquer your fear of photographing strangers.

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Baby Steps: The fishing Technique


  1. Choose your scene
  2. Wait for your subject to enter your frame
  3. Snap your shot

Examples of Street photos with fishing technique

Elegance. Woman with umbrella. Seoul, 2009

Simple background. Tokyo

Get closer: The Video camera technique

People don’t care if you shoot a video, but they don’t like you shooting pictures in street photography.

The concept: pretend you’re recording a video, to get closer.

  1. Pretend to record a video

  2. Move closer to your subject

  3. Snap your shot

Pro tip: Do not move your camera down from your eye or check the photo on the screen  this will give your video camera technique away.

The video camera technique is probably the best way you can be invisible and stealth in street photography.

Asking permission: The social technique

Not all street photographs need to be candid. Asking for permission is a good way to overcome your fear of photographing strangers.

1. “May I make your portrait?”

  • “Make a portrait”: Artistic and sincere
  • “Take a photo”: Cheap and selfish

2. “What is your life story?”

  • Ask questions and connect with people in a positive way.
  • Thank and compliment your subjects for saying “Yes”

3. “Show me your power pose” / “Can you make my portrait next?”

  • Invite your subjects to be a part of the photo-making process.

Quick tips to conquer your fear of photographing strangers

Before shooting street photography, go over possible scenarios to mentally BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE:

Quick Tips:

  1. Be friendly and genuine
  2. Take photos of your subjects while they are speaking to capture candid and unposed pictures
  3. Take as many pictures as possible when shooting street photography. People often feel flattered by your request to take their picture, not burdened.
  4. Don’t hesitate asking people that you want to photograph them; you might never see them again.
  5. Ask people who you think they would say “No”. Surprisingly, few people actually decline and say “no” to your request to make a street portrait of them.

Final thoughts and tips: LESSONS FROM ERIC KIM

Some brief ideas to keep you motivated, inspired, and confident when shooting street photography:

  1. As a street photographer, you are not a thief; you are a VISUAL ARTIST.
  2. Know why you make photos, to confidently communicate why you want to make a portrait of your subjects.
  3. Get accustomed to the possibility of rejection– prepare yourself for the ‘worst-case scenario’. In reality, the worst-case scenario isn’t that bad.
  4. Try to take small risks every day, to experience new variations in life.
  5. Be like a kid and HAVE FUN!

Make your own photography visualization

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Access Street Photography Visualizations by ANNETTE KIM

Newest Visualization by Annette Kim available in the Haptic Shop

Don’t miss the newest free photography visualization “What to look for when shooting street photography” available now in the Haptic Shop.

Ultimate Beginner’s Guide for Street Photography Series

HAPTIC presents the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide for Street Photography Series — visualizations of essential photography lessons and tips by ANNETTE KIM. Annette researched, synthesized, and visualized the key parts of this series to present to you a fun, easy to read VISUALIZATION of photography fundamentals.

Newest Photography Visualizations

For a limited time, download the following FREE visualizations designed by Annette Kim. Keep these guides on your phone, tablet, computer to read on your commute, as reminders when shooting on the streets, and for daily inspiration. Download both full resolution PDFs by processing your free ‘order’ here. Don’t forget to check back regularly to see what new resources and visualizations we add to the page.

  • “How to Overcome Fears of Photographing Strangers”(11/2/2o17)
  • “What to Look For When Shooting in the Streets” (11/8/2017) New!
  • To receive the latest visualizations, exclusive content, access to books, presets and artistic information, join the free ERIC KIM NEWSLETTER.

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide for Street Photography



Each VISUALIZATION is original artwork designed by Annette Kim, distilled from the ERIC KIM photography lessons and resources.



VITRUVIAN CAMERA is an homage to Leonardo da Vinci, and his passion of combining technology and art. By wearing VITRUVIAN CAMERA proudly on your chest, it will reveal your passion for photography — ‘painting with light.’

VITRUVIAN CAMERA is ARTWEAR — to inspire yourself everyday, to pay homage to the artistic masters of the past, and to also pave your own path in photography.

100% of the proceeds directly supports the artist.

VITRUVIAN CAMERA is an original artwork hand sketched by Annette Kim. Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, Annette researched the history and science of camera design in order to produce this conceptual camera.

Leonardo da Vinci’a “Vitruvian Man.”

The camera embodies the vision of the ‘ideal’ camera based on the rules of architecture and design:

Video Interview with Annette Kim

The Complete Works of Annette Kim

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Elegance. Eric Kim umbrella composition Bauhaus. Annette Kim / haptic industries

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