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How to Get Comfortable Self-Shooting in Public

How to Get Comfortable Self-Shooting in Public

by Kristen Bousquet

January 08, 2020


One of the most common questions I get is “Kristen, how the heck are you comfortable shooting yourself in public?” That being said, I decided to share some of my favorite tips:

 

TO START, AVOID MAIN STREETS
When I first started self-shooting (and still to this day), I tend to flock to areas that aren’t too crazy packed with people. I love shooting at mill buildings, driving down random side streets, or even going to towns that are super dead, and I end up shooting there. It’s easy when you’re first starting to do this so that you can get comfortable before you head to a busy main road.

PREPARE FOR ATTENTION
Especially if you’re shooting on a main street, I can almost GUARANTEE you’re going to get some idiots beeping at you, catcalling you, yelling out the window, or even just stopping to ask what the heck you’re doing. Be prepared.

MAKE SHIT UP
There have been SO many times when I’m self-shooting and someone will come up to me and ask what I’m up to. First of all, it’s not their business, so don’t feel like you have to explain yourself to ANYONE. For me, I’ve gotten to a point where I realize I have to be kind (usually these nosy people mean no harm, they’re just nosy ) so sometimes I just make things up 🤷🏻‍♀️ Especially when it’s an old person and they definitely won’t understand the whole Instagram thing, I tell them I design clothes and am shooting photos for my website or some shit. Have fun with it 🤷🏻‍♀️

USE A SPECIFIC LENS
When I first started self-shooting, I had a 50mm 1.4 Lens on my camera. It’s an AMAZING lens but the issue is that to obtain a full-body photo, it needs to be quite far away from you. That’s an issue because sometimes you’re not equipped with a sidewalk that’s wide enough or you’ll have people constantly walking IN FRONT of the camera. So, I purchased a 20mm 1.4 Lens which is essentially 1-2 feet away from me while shooting so people can easily walk around it without bothering me. Plus, you get a MAJOR wide angle so HELLO LONG LEGS!

THINK OF IT LIKE YOUR JOB
This is a mindset that I started to put myself in for self-shooting that helped me become a lot more comfortable. Instagram is my JOB. Many times, I am paid to post what I post in my feed, so if I keep telling myself that, I think it’s easier to ignore people. If someone says “oh, what’re you doing?” You can easily reply “just working” or “taking some shots for my job”. It’s quick and easy.
STOP GIVING A SHIT
Overall, you don’t owe an explanation to anyone and literally NO ONE’S opinion matters that you’re taking a photo in the middle of a public area. It’s just that — PUBLIC — which means that you can do whatever the hell you want as long as you’re not breaking the law. So what if girls from high school drive by and laugh at you for taking photos on yourself dressed in crazy outfits? St the end of the day, you are literally a) creating art, b) being happy, and c) probably making more money taking pics of yourself than they do working as a cashier at the supermarket 🤷🏻‍♀️ Hey, tough reality but just stop giving a shit. You do you, boo, and as long as you’re happy doing it, who gives a shit what people say or think.

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