Au Marché

Going to market at the Ave du Président Wilson in the 16e.

Quite styling people for a Saturday morning. Well this is Le chichi Seizième after all, I guess.

There was one particularly stylish Asian girl who was also there just to take pictures. We exchanged glances but no one spoke. I probably should have said hi. I betcha she’s a blogger too. (Last photo, in the slideshow.)

Speaking of taking photos, someone must give me a clue about how to photograph people. I am much better at shots of food. They don’t move! They don’t look at you funny when they realize you’re taking photo of them. And they certainly don’t do this. I’ve asked a couple people if I could shoot them, but then the shots turned out so obviously posed that I didn’t like them at all. I am clueless. Help?

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17 Responses to “Au Marché

  • thermomixster said:
    February 10th, 2007 at 8:29am

    So beautifull contry
    j aime voyager et cuisiner,
    A bientot

  • maki said:
    February 10th, 2007 at 11:44am

    Hi Pim,
    I too love to take market photos, and I’ve found that I really get the best pics if I take them without making the person pose. Afterwards if they seem to not like having been shot (this is very rare in my experience..smiling and taking the ‘i’m Asian/Japanese and i am genetically unable to not take photos’ attitude helps some) I just erase it so I don’t forget and use it later. Most of the time, they are not unhappy. Some even pose for me. One of my favorites is this one –
    That guy noticed i was shooting and posed with his big mushrooms later (er..he was selling big mushrooms), so obviously he didn’t mind being photoed. (though I didn’t choose those posed ones since the one I have there was my favorite)
    People generally only seem to get nervous if their kids are being photoed…though it all depends of course. Some even line up their kids!
    I also shoot with a fast response SLR mostly, and shoot in machine-gun mode since people move, other people walk in between who you want to shoot and you, etc. That’s what multigig sim cards are for! E.g. this photo took like a good 5 minutes of me standing there shooting and shooting, while my mom bounced with the buskers:
    Sometimes I use my small and unobstrusive auto though and that works fine too.

  • Kate Hill said:
    February 10th, 2007 at 12:04pm

    The best advice I was ever given was by a Nat’l Geo photographer-” ‘taking’ a picture is a one way exchange; figure out a way to offer something back.” Sometimes it’s just a smile and a nod or a gesture; sometimes it’s staying around long enough to be accepted as part of the scene. Just like with good food photography, it takes practice. Love the shopping cart parade! see you next week?

  • umami said:
    February 10th, 2007 at 12:29pm

    Hi Pim, I usually go to this market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but today I didn’t go, urgh, we could have met up. if you have time maybe we can get together.

  • Jess said:
    February 11th, 2007 at 12:34am

    As a photographer if you are taking photos of people where they are recognizable you should always get a release. I would never publish photos where permission has not been obtained.

  • Nellie said:
    February 11th, 2007 at 5:08am

    Jess, in the US such permissions are not necessary. You are free to post people’s photos and they are free to sue you if they want to. If a photo was takien why you *obviously* trespassed private property, they can sue you for trespassing, not for photographing. If you embarass them and cause them to lose income because of your photograph of them, they can sue you for that, not for photographing.
    But personally, I think taking pictures of people (strangers) is just plain rude. I would not do it. A camera is like a weapon.

  • Lucy Vanel said:
    February 11th, 2007 at 5:51am

    Pim, one thing I always do when I’m taking photos of people is to take them quickly, which means being ready with exposure for someone that moves, more depth of field than I would usually have for my usual still shots, and always making myself aware of the background, so that when the opportunity arises, I can take the photo of the person without any fiddling. Nothing gets people more nervous than to have someone pointing a camera at them for a long time. Get the shot quickly, in other words.

  • Thierry said:
    February 11th, 2007 at 4:31pm

    Hi Pim, you should ask the Sartorialist ! He is probably the best at taking pictures of people in the street…
    By the wy, do you have any french version of this blog available somewhere ? Really like it anyway. 😉

  • Kaya said:
    February 12th, 2007 at 1:14am

    Did you ask their permission to publish these people shots? That’s the first thing the pros do. Legally you have to, because your focusing single faces.

  • conor said:
    February 12th, 2007 at 8:28am

    if you have already asked them if you can take their picture, just talk to them some more while taking it. It keeps people casual and most of the time gets rid of the deer-in-headlights look people get when you ask for their picture

  • Monika said:
    February 12th, 2007 at 12:56pm

    I just stumbled upon your site and I just love it. I really like your candid photos of people shopping at the market.
    Take care,

  • Annapurna said:
    February 13th, 2007 at 5:26am

    I think you might have had more luck in a less up-tight neighborhood! Try the neighborhoody marché rue de Charonne in the 11th (Wed and Sat mornings). I’m sure they wouldn’t mind as much. To avoid the pictures that look posed, maybe try asking the vendors if they mind being photographed and then come back later and actually take the pictures…?

  • Nellie said:
    February 13th, 2007 at 9:20am

    I am afraid that Kaya does not know what she speaks of. I take photographs for a newspaper. I am not required at all to ask permission of any single person I photograph (in public; taking photographs in private spaces often requires the prsemises’ owner’s permission) Look at your average paper and see how many photographs of people it has. Do you think the photographers obtained permissions from these people? You are joking! Children are the only exception and the age you are looking at is 17. Below 17 we need to get parental permission.
    This is how the law works in the US. I cannot imagine it working better anywhere else. As I said, if your photograph caused someone to lose a job, or create some serious problems, they can sue you for contributing to that. But they would have to prove it that you caused it, and not their behavior that you photographed (imagine you took a picture of a cook spitting in a customer’s soup. The cook loses a job and sues you. Good luck to him/her with proving that you CAUSED it. And he/she needs to prove it to win the case).:)
    So, in public places, shoot away, even using telephoto lens — in which case people have no idea you are getting a close-up of them. And don’t ask any permissions but do if you want to capture children.

  • pierre said:
    February 13th, 2007 at 11:25pm

    Enjoy my childhood “hood”.Ca me fait tout drole ici a San Francisco de voir le marche de mon enfance devenir une attraction de “blogger”.Je n’aurais jamais imagine cela, quand petit je revais de Californie!
    Au moins tout le monde en profite maintenant!
    A bientot!

  • Jeff said:
    February 14th, 2007 at 8:32am

    Pim takes pictures of Europeans in Europe. US law is not adaptable EVERYWHERE. Thank goodness.

  • K. Hsiang said:
    February 16th, 2007 at 12:57am

    Taking good pictures of people involves getting in tight on the subject. So, I believe for your purposes, you need a strong zoom lens ideally. Decide on the backdrop (market scene, walkway, playground, etc.) because those don’t move. Wait for potential subjects to come to your “backdrop”. If they don’t then, it’s not meant to be or you need a different location. But, you can always keep waiting.
    You should also sit somewhere and wait for the moment to come to you. Chasing a moment tends to lead to people noticing a photographer moving around. It is rumorerd that Ansel Adams planned his pictures for a year to identify the best day of the year to produce the best moment.
    For candids, I use a 300mm equivalent with shutterspeed in excess of 1/60. I can be a good 20-30 ft away and still get a reasonably good shot. Sometimes, I casually point a camera without looking through the viewfinder… the key is to be casual and inconspicuous. Good luck Pim…

  • Tiffany said:
    January 30th, 2008 at 1:51pm

    Being born and raised in the USA… I am very envious of the grocery shopping style that I perceived very clearly in your pictures…. I am envious of an open air market where I go for my weekly needs and various shops for the other things. I am forced to drive an hour to the nearest farmers market which I can do once a month or deal with kinda fresh produce under halogen or flourescent lights… OH for fresh food to be the norm EVERYWHERE in this country… alas…. I see a move to Europe for myfamily soon…(obviously not just for groceries, but then again, what a better reason than GOOD food?)
    Love and Light, tiffntwins

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