The Pre-Grasp Moment: Portrait or Candid?

Copenhagen 2016

Copenhagen 2016

If you ever photograph on the streets, you may find yourself split between doing portrait and candid photography. Obviously, street photography can fall into either category, but in my view there's also a very interesting intersection between the two where magic truly can happen.

The golden intersection

Some of my best shots are taken in the crucial moment which I call the pre-grasp moment (yes, I just did that). Look at the image above - the woman has only just seen me but she hasn't completely figured out what's happening - and she hasn't reacted yet. Had I taken the shot a little earlier or a little later she would either have looked away or presented me with a more considered reaction.

Capturing moments like these can give you some wonderfully intimate and honest shots of people in the streets but it does take some practice and you have to be prepared to handle your subject's reaction. Do smile and offer to show your photo, unless the initial reaction is very hostile. Then you run ;)

See you out there.


Thomas SondergaardComment