Fear (of photographing Strangers) Part 1 (#222) 02-20-13

So many photographers have expressed interest in photographing strangers, but interest is qualified by statements like, “I could never approach people like that”, or “I’m just not a people person.” It is simply a manifestation of fear. And boy, am I ever familiar with this fear. Everyone has it (I think). The trick is to learn how to deal with the fear so that you can move forward in a productive way.

This post, and the next two, are about just that: how to deal with the fear of approaching strangers. In the video below, entitled “What fear Can Teach Us”, Karen Thompson Walker explores fear as an act of the imagination, and how stories of the mind can control how we act. It lasts for about 11 minutes.


Have you created mental stories about what would happen if you approached a stranger? Can you use cool, rational judgment to evaluate these stories?

In the next post, photographer Fritz Liedtke discusses an honest, rational approach to dealing with these fears.