Have you ever been on a trip and wanted to get a picture of your whole group (WITH YOU IN IT) but whenever you handed your camera to a stranger they took the worst picture imaginable? I got SO dang tired of this happening so I made it my mission to figure out how to get a good picture from a stranger and I've decided to let you in on my tips!
1. Find the right person
I really don't like handing my camera to a stranger (Are they going to steal it? Are they going to drop it?) so my first tip is to find the right person. When I want a group picture I look around for someone else with a comparable camera, preferably a DSLR, and ask them to take our picture. They almost always oblige (because they obviously enjoy photography) and are usually looking for a group picture as well so I always ask to return the favor and take a picture for them.
2. Adjust the settings beforehand
Because I shoot in manual I always adjust the settings before I hand over my camera. I have someone stand in our pre-designated location and I take a few practice shots to make sure everything is to my satisfaction.
3. Set focus to Automatic Selection
The “Automatic AF Point Selection” (Canon) or “Auto-Area AF” (Nikon) is basically the “point-and-shoot” method for finding focus. The camera will automatically pick what to focus on and is much more likely to result in a focused photo than in any other focus setting.
4. Give as much direction as possible
If I want the picture taken vertically rather than horizontally I make sure to ask for that. If I want a specific building or landmark in the background I make sure to mention that. I usually ask them to take more than one picture and and if I want the picture taken from a specific vantage point I will kind of tell them where to stand.
5. If you're not satisfied, ask another person and try again
If it's not a big deal for your group to wait a little longer and you're not satisfied with the photo you can always wait until your first stranger photographer leaves and find another person to take your photo. Sometimes things just take more than one try.
There you have it! All of the above photos were taken by strangers using my tips and I think they turned out fabulously and are among my favorite pictures.
Do you have any stranger photo tips I missed? Please fill me in!