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Taking photos in a crowd

By May 15, 2018 Photography No Comments

Shooting within a crowd is a challenging but rewarding form of portrait photography that works to create a feeling of movement and story. Such shots can be emotive and powerful, with an isolated and lonely feel as though the model is lost among a sea of people.


Crowd shots often require a lot of patience as people will frequently walk in front of your lens, and both you and your model will need to be relatively fearless so as not to be put off by the people around. In particularly busy areas, it may also be useful to head out early in the morning so you can miss the busiest times of day when it may become impossible to shoot.

When shooting within a crowd, you will want to focus in on the model and use a shallow depth of field so the mass of people behind and any lights are out of focus.This will enhance the sense of movement and also allow the model to really pop out of the image and remain the focal point.To focus the attention on the model further, consider placing them in an outfit or colour that jars with the surroundings.

Stations and shopping streets in towns and cities can often be some of the best places to shoot within a crowd.There will always be plenty of movement within these settings that will allow you to get a good blur in the background.You can also shoot an effective crowd shot on a bridge or tunnel.This not only channels and controls the shape of the crowd, but also creates a leading line that draws the eye.

Top tip

When shooting on a high street, the glass fronts of the shops will reflect light onto the model to highlight the face and hair.

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One Face, Fifty Ways, Wilkinson and DyerOne Face, Fifty Ways
Imogen Dyer and Mark Wilkinson

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