Just a brief tip that might be useful. This was inspired by Alan Farthing, who wrote in response to Ken's short post yesterday:
This year we lost a good friend and had difficulty in finding an image of him for his obituary. Yes he hated having his picture taken; found quite a few where he was caught dodging cameras. We should have been insistent on at least a few occasions....We all have friends or relatives who dislike being photographed and who often ask not to be. They do dodge the camera and complain when you try to sneak a few shots—or work out ways to subvert us, a form of hostility masquerading as "being funny." My policy in those cases is to respect peoples' wishes, and not nip away at them with the camera if they happen not to like it. People should be treated how they wish to be treated.
But, as Ken and Alan so eloquently expressed, we often want to have pictures of those dopes we love. And we need a few. What to do?
I've had very good luck just sitting down with those people and making a deal. I tell them I won't take a picture of them at every opportunity and I won't be all the time sticking a camera in their face, but that in return I have a request. I explain that photography is my thing (they already know that) and they are important people to me and that I'd really like to get a decent record shot of what they look like every now and then. I just ask them if they will please cooperate with me for five or ten minutes twice a year—not for them, but as a favor to me—and just put up with me on those occasions. Later, when I invoke that discussion, they relent.
Then, when I get my chance, I work quickly, to minimize their discomfort, often taking three minutes or even less. That helps set up the next occasion.
So far, it's worked for everyone I've tried it with. Maybe it will work for you too.
(Thanks to Alan)
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Featured Comments from:
Geoff Wittig: "I tried that with my wife. Still doesn't fly. She's so outrageously camera-shy that a solid 75% of the photographs I have taken of her include her raised hand obscuring her face. (Sometimes with an extended finger.) I have managed to catch a few lovely candids of her when she was distracted by other family members. Oddly enough she likes the photos as much as I do. But she still does everything she can to dodge the next one. It's remarkably similar to photographing skittish wildlife; perhaps I should pull out the 500mm ƒ/4 lens...."
Mike replies: LOL! Surveillance photography....
Mike Chisholm: "Of course, as photographers, it is quite likely we usually forget one quite important family member—ourselves. Many of us are embarrassed by self-portraiture; it seems a little vain. But in 50 years, the only shots of you are likely to belong to someone else's family. Get over it, and sit in front of a camera...preferably your own!"
Alan Farthing replies to Mike: Thanks Mike for the suggestion. Shame I could not try that with Dave!