Making Candid Portraits in Street Photography (feat. Dawn Eagleton)

Are you a fan of street photography but struggle with making candid portraits of people? Look no further! In this blog, we will be sharing tips and techniques for capturing natural, candid moments in street photography with the help of the talented photographer, Dawn Eagleton. With years of experience in the field, Dawn will provide valuable insights and advice on how to approach and photograph people in public spaces without intruding on their privacy. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned photographer, this blog will help you improve your skills and confidence in making candid portraits in street photography. Let’s dive in!

Making Candid Portraits in Street Photography (feat. Dawn Eagleton)

Making Candid Portraits in Street Photography (feat. Dawn Eagleton)

This episode is sponsored by Squarespace whether you need a domain website or online store make your next move with Squarespace a few years ago I posted a video with Gabrielle matola because I found her ability to just walk up to strangers on the street strike up a Conversation and get a portrait of them fascinating but a few of you pointed out when I posted that video that that’s not really a candid Street portrait because she’s collaborating with him in the moment to make this shot so how do you go about getting a truly candid portrait Of somebody I came across Dawn’s work a few years back and I could tell straight away looking at her work here’s a completely different approach to capturing images of strangers where she didn’t interact with them prior to clicking the shutter so that it’s completely candid because she’s trying To capture the unguarded moment with someone but she’s still featuring just a single individual and often blurring out the background so the aesthetic of the image looks like a portrait so I thought it would be really interesting to chat to her to hear about a completely different approach that yields some Really interesting results but I also wanted to talk to Dawn about her experience of getting into street photography as a woman because I think we can all admit that historically speaking street photography has been a very male dominated space but things are slowly changing and in this interview She gives some great advice to young women who want to get into street photography and let me just say when it comes to these little documentaries I’ve read the comments and I know that some of you get quite frustrated about the fact that I don’t show most of the Images until the end of the video but that’s obviously on purpose when I’m building these films in the edit I want you to spend time with someone’s story first because I really believe that hearing about someone’s history and their approach and their why really adds greatly to the impact of the images when We finally get to them but I’m going to shut up now and let you hear from my friend Dawn Eagleton foreign In photography I’ve studied communication and film at University so I’ve always had an interest in sort of the visual side of film really the communication side was you know how people are the way they are and I think actually if you look at my photography now you can you can see those elements In there but actually what happened after I finished my degree is I fell into a sales job so it it I sort of lost track of of you know really being interested in the film side of things but quite a defining moment of my life was when I lost my Parents in 2009 and 2010 to cancer I think at that point it really sort of enables you to start looking more deeply at what you’re doing with your own life particularly as they died quite young I am I suppose I was sort of being quite reflective and wanting to ensure that I Was doing something with my life at the time I’d got a little bit of inheritance and I wanted to make sure that it was spent on something that was quite meaningful so we put a deposit down on a house and I had about a thousand pounds that was Left over over that was just sat in my bank account for quite a few years they worked very hard their entire lives for that money and I wanted to just make sure that I was doing something useful with it you realize that what I’m going to say is That with that thousand pounds I ended up buying a camera and what led me to that decision was um a number of things really I think when people close to you pass away photographs become so so important but also I realized that you know whilst my parents Were both very much sort of blue collar workers my dad worked in a factory my mum was uh you know in retail a lot of her life you know pubs cleaning they were both actually really creative people and I recognized quite young that they were happiest when they were being Creative you know my dad with his music my mum was very um sort of she was very into fashion she could pull together an outfit from a charity shop on a shoestring and look a million dollars but also when you start to look back at memories I really really One of the standout memories for me was when I um when my dad bought me my first camera it’s probably about 12 or 13 and we were in Blackpool and Holiday and we bought this camera that was about 9.99 it was just a bit of plastic You know you put the film in the back and I remember taking it to the zoo that afternoon and just using the entire film just taking pictures of animals and you know it was it was um it was a really sort of happy happy afternoon I really enjoyed doing it And then you sort of get home and you get the film developed and then you’ve got this this thing that you’ve created you know put them in an album and I was really really proud of it and that really really stuck with me yeah I think all of those things together sort of Culminated in me thinking I think you should buy a camera and maybe you know do something with it I didn’t know what at the time and actually I think it was it was about 2016 that I bought the xt1 I didn’t really do a lot with it for a couple of Years I was mainly shooting my daughter who was quite young at the time my dog you know as you do but in terms of how I then kind of got on this street photography trajectory we we were in um Valencia for the weekend and it was I mean it’s a it’s an amazing City to photograph it’s so interesting the people there are really interesting the backdrops you know around the street there’s a lot of um graffiti we were in a supermarket and I just remember seeing this sort of Old Gentleman who You could just see on his face that he just had this amazing life story to tell you know it was kind of etched on his face and I just found him fascinating and I remember instinctively just thinking to follow him at the supermarket you know and um go and get his go and Get a portrait of him and I did and it was it was like an epiphany you know it was it was this is really cool this is really interesting I’d love to to sort of start photographing people on the street I think I’ve always been very very interested in in people’s stories And personality I definitely have dabbled with other styles of street photography you know playing with light and different sort of compositions but I always came back to portraits and actually in particular I really enjoy this sort of connection that you get from from photographing somebody you Have you have to be close to someone to to get the sorts of shots that I’m getting that opens up a whole a whole new world for me you know aside from just capturing them it also enables me to have these sort of human interactions And I I definitely grew up as quite a shy person I would say to anyone that’s got that kind of introvert type personality that this is a really good exercise in connecting with people and being more comfortable around people so when I go out into the street to photograph people My main aim is…


1. What is street photography?

Street photography is a genre of photography that focuses on capturing candid moments and scenes in public places, typically in urban environments. It often involves photographing strangers without their knowledge or consent.

2. What makes a portrait candid?

A candid portrait is one that captures a person in an unposed, natural moment. It is not staged or directed, and the subject is typically unaware of the photographer’s presence.

3. How can I make candid portraits in street photography?

To capture candid portraits in street photography, it’s important to blend into the environment and observe the scene without disturbing the natural flow of events. Use a discreet camera and try to anticipate moments of emotion or interaction to capture authentic and unguarded expressions.

4. What are some tips for making compelling candid portraits?

Pay attention to lighting, composition, and the background to create visually interesting and impactful images. Look for unique moments and interactions, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives.

5. Who is Dawn Eagleton?

Dawn Eagleton is a renowned street photographer known for her ability to capture candid and emotive portraits in urban settings. She has been featured in numerous exhibitions and publications, and her work is celebrated for its raw and intimate portrayal of everyday life.

I hope you find useful my article Making Candid Portraits in Street Photography (feat. Dawn Eagleton), I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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