• Yes, I feel both rushed and self-conscious. The result being a not very good picture. Though this applies particularly to cafés. Because I know people in cafés like to listen and watch what other people are doing (see your post about stories overheard in cafés – still waiting for continuation of that series ;-)). I just can’t imagine getting up on the chair to take a picture and I’ve never actually seen anyone else do it.

  • Sheepskins Fairylights

    I’m ok with taking photos, funnily enough it’s my husband who feels embarrassed, especially if it’s seemingly random. If i got up on a chair, think he’d be heading for the door haha!! Xx

    • hahaha! My fiance has gotten used to it now… he’s definitely an instragram husband like in that video!

  • Sheepskins Fairylights

    PS; totally unrelated, love your shoes!! Where are they from? 🙂 x

    • Oh thanks – they’re Lotta from Stockholme clogs! xx

  • A few years ago, I used to be SUPER conscious of taking photographs in public (more so in front of my boyfriend who is a professional photographer!) but then I kind of.. just got over it. Nobody cares.

    Well, OK, sometimes people look at you strange, or look at what you’re taking a photograph of and THEN look at you strange but mostly people just carry on with their day.

    I also think there has been a huge change in society when it comes to taking photographs in public. Remember when there was a huge public freak out about anyone taking photographs in public spaces? (Around 9/11 so kind of justified, I guess.) That’s all changed now and it’s pretty normal for people to be snapping photographs all over the place and vlogging is getting more prolific so I guess it’s only a matter of time before we’re all walking down the street filming out faces ;))

    • Ha, you’re so right – nobody cares! I feel like this was a big life lesson I needed to learn in general – that people might watch and judge, but then they’ll forget about it, so it’s ok to ignore them. Can’t live our lives trying to make all of the strangers happy!

      I’d forgotten about the photo-paranoia period! I was once caught by a man taking photos down a small alley by his house because it was a nice brick wall and I’d just had a hair cut. He accused me of going through his bins and photographing his bills to commit identity fraud! & I was all, ‘but I just wanted to instagram my hair…’

      Filming my face is still tooooo awkward for me. Whenever I watch vlogs where people talk to camera on trains or streets I’m amazed by their DGAF-skills! x

  • I love this post! I’m trying to get back into photography and taking images in public was one of my biggest hesitations. I feel really shy (whether it be an iphone or my DSLR) and when I do feel confident enough, I also feel rushed like you mentioned. I love the tip on creating a backstory if anyone does stop and ask.

    • that rushed feeling is one of my biggest issues in life – I always feel like I’m rushing the things I want to do, usually for the approval of strangers. Working on it – hope you are able to as well! x

  • With cafes/restaurants I am definitely way too self conscious. I never take a proper top-down photo because I am super self conscious of people looking at me, so I usually end up with a crappy angle and only two shots. I want to work on that! My boyfriend on the other hand is a photographer and has no qualms about getting any shot – even strangers, ha!

    • ah, we need lessons in sass from your boyfriend! I think part of the secret to top down food photos is trusting yourself to do it fast. It’s fine to stand and take three fast shots, but it gets awkward when you need to spend twenty minutes trying to get the tension between the fork and the plate just right… Voice of experience here 😉 🙈 xxx

  • *clears throat* AHHHHHHHH! Mark Hamill’s BFF AND drops some wicked Simpson’s references? You’re so COOL!

    • IKNOWRIGHT?? Sadly, the rest of the world doesn’t seem to hold the same values as you and I. I’m a very niche type of cool… 😆

  • Jenna Richards

    I definitely feel self-conscious of taking photos in public. Even if the subject is my own child at the park. I’m not too sure why?! Oh and I’ve often regretted not taking photos of things because I was too self-conscious. Going to try and be a bit braver from now on!

    • Definitely go for it – especially when it comes to your own kids! We’re so lucky to be able to record so many precious moments essentially for free – I’m sure our grandparent’s generation wouldn’t have let anything stop them from saving those snaps! x

  • Oh gosh, I need these tips. I’m so bad for feeling awkward taking photos in public, which is silly because I never think twice when I see someone else taking them!

    • It’s so hard to quiet that inner critic, isn’t it? But good to remember what you’re thinking when you see others. 99% of people are just lovely and curious 🙂

  • Ughh this is one of my problems. I’ve gotten better but I get very self-conscious when I’m indoors or in small spaces. People look at you like they’ve never seen a camera before haha.

    • hahahaha so true! It’s not like we’re photographing *their* lunch – what’s the big deal? 😉 xx

  • I always feel embarrassed taking photos when I am by myself but when I am with friends I am so much more confident!

    • yes! Maybe I just need a backup team with me whenever I need to do photos outside of the house… haha! x

  • Good words! How confident am I? I don’t like take photos in public … In that moments I always think, what people feel when I photo something where they are in the corner… Maybe that’s because I can’t do it well? I think I should break up my shame, feel like professional photographer and learn how to do it. Thank You for tips I will start with it 🙂

    • Definitely go for it. If you’re worried about people being in shot, ask their permission first! Or just make sure you shoot from an angle where their face can’t be seen – especially if you’re planning to share it online. Most people are really interested and flattered to be asked! 🙂 xx

  • I just loved this! Oh boy, I haven’t had anyone yell at me for taking a picture (yet!), but maybe because I’m a planner, observer and patient so I tend to wait for better timing (hubby included! If he has his phone or a book he is happy waiting for me hahaha). Plus, I rather take the photo with my DSLR for quality and postproduction purposes so it’s worth the wait for me. I’ve had people drive pass me, stop and back drive just to stare at me and what am I doing. Yes, and I’ve learned not to look back and ignore people, to look busy hidding behind my camera and all my photography gear, that way I’m not giving any openings for people to talk to me and it works, they move along!. I’m not sure if I would say I feel confident, as I’m always a bit nervous but practice definitely makes it easier 😉 .- Thank you for sharing this Sara!

    • Such a great perspective – yes, being busy, involved and professional sounds like a great way to keep people quiet! I suspect a lot of the time when people stare or drive back, they’re just really curious as to what the picture is of. Especially when we’re photograping peeing paint or a random weed by the roadside.. haha! x

  • laura

    Great post Sara! It’s always something I’m conscious of, but the overwhelming need/want to take the photo usually wins over what people might think! On the flip side, it always makes me smile to spot other people in public taking photos of the beautiful things that others haven’t noticed 😉

    • Yes! What is that photo need/want? It should have a special name! x

  • thank you for sharing this…I still struggle at times. an anxious person by nature, not always feeling 100% knowledgable with my camera usually gets in the way, but then I usually revert to my iphone (which is more discreet too, absolutely). you’re so right about regretting the shots not taken – I can think of too many that I regret not taking. never again!!

    • Ah, me too – my list of shots thay got away could be a blog post by itself! Sigh. I relate both to your anxiety and to that feeling of ‘maybe I’m not using my camera properly’ – but then again, unless David Bailey is watching, what does it matter, right? 🙂 x

  • I used to do a lot of street photography at the beginning of my photography journey. The biggest obstacle I needed to overcome wasn’t skills but my own fear. I recommend it to anyone who is seriously thinking about photography. You might be shy but never with photos. Your dream is another universe.
    Weirdly enough I am always embarrassed when I take photos with my own phone rather than a real DSLR.
    Also one more tip, it helps if you have a website and a business card. When someone approaches you smile, explain and hand in your card, maybe they will check it out. For years, I barely ever had a negative reaction.

    • The cards tip is brilliant – I might have to edit it in, actually! You’re right – people are generally just interested rather than disapproving, and for a lot of people the idea that a photo of something mundane as a tabletop or a building could be a part of someone’s work is a bit of an unknown. I’ve never had a bad reaction in reality, but I’ve imagined a thousand and one! x

  • Great tips and I didn’t realise the volume button actually cause a burst of images. This is something I am planning on doing more on my journey into university each day.

    • Thanks Kizzy – glad that was helpful! Definitely helps when you don’t want everyone to know you’re snapping 🙂

  • Yes, yes, yes! I’m so glad to hear others get anxious about this, too. I always think that if the people walking past could hear the inner dialogue I have going on about how they might possibly watch me taking photos and oh, how embarrassing!, then they’d really have something to stop and stare at! I’ve made a resolution to take more photos of myself this year. Down with selfie embarrassment, I want to capture memories with me in them!

    • It’s so interesting hearing other people’s experiences of this feeling! Love your selfie resolution – why should the duckface girls get all the photo-fun? There’s a million creative and beautiful ways to take a self portrait 🙂 x

    • Lauren me too!! (with the selfie resolution). I felt so much regret looking through my iphone pics as 2016 approached and realized I had like 10 selfies for the entire year–most of them not taken with the same care I take when photographing others. So this year, intentionally taking more!

      • A selfie resolution revolution! I’ve always felt a little vain taking selfies, but hey, I want a photo of myself in cool places and times too!

  • Definitely agree – and the bonus is, you get to be a better photographer too! 😀 x

  • this was (and is) a big issue for me. i just want i would care less. My best photos would have been the ones i didn’t feel bold enough to take, the ones that were in too crowded places, the ones that were in too public places, the ones with lots of human faces or focus on a face of a stranger. It is not that i regret a lot, i kind of accepted myself being uncomfortable in that very high degree. But i see now that this fear was (is ) a great stopper for my development as a photographer. the day i was finished with flowers/coffe cups/ still life shots, and wanted more liveliness/street/people in my photos, i couldn’t go further due to my shyness. the photos i actually was able to take overcoming my fears, were the photos i didn’t feel comfortable to share and show to others, because what if somebody was in the photo and he/she didn’t intended being there. i take much less photos these days, because i am no longer interested in subjects i can take (good) photos of, and the subjects i would actually be interested to take photo of, i am not confident enough to try. yup.

    • Steph

      Dear Kristina,

      I’ve just read this, and oh my goodness! This is exactly my problem right now; I’ve outgrown the cups, & flowers {okay, not “outgrown” exactly, but I’d rather photograph them because I *want* to, not because it’s the only thing around me that I *can* do!} and want to photograph the houses & streets in my little village or where ever I happen to be but am held back by my own crippling shyness! *sighs*

      I realise this was written a year or so ago, but I’m hoping that you have uncovered some courage that you never knew was within you; hidden deep deep down
      inside and you’re happily snapping away at everything and anything. Because, if you have found that grit, then there’s still hope for me yet! x

  • Nicky

    Yes!! All the time!! And what exactly is the protocol when it comes to snapping a cute looking cottage or car? I’m afraid I will NEVER EVER be confident enough to take a selfie in public – good grief – I rarely do those in private!