Have you ever met someone who only works out their arms? Sure, they’ve got big handsome arm muscles, but they can’t jog down the block because they don’t exercise that part of their body. The same thing happens to photographers who only photograph one thing. Personally, I can’t imagine only photographing clients; that would seem a lot like work.

Instead, get out and make different pictures. Street photography offers portraitists a related area to work with endless options.

Take a camera for a walk

On this day, my buddy Carlos was visiting and we decided to head into the city to make some pictures. Now, Carlos is a film guy so we took our film cameras to town. I was using a monster Pentax 67 and Carlos was using a Hasselblad. I had Kodak’s Portra 160 film loaded.

Personally, I prefer to interact with people when I do street photography. I usually see something interesting about them, strike up a conversation, and ask to make a picture. When you have an enormous camera with a wooden handle in your hands, it’s easy to start a conversation and talk about the weirdness of shooting with giant film.

I found this fellow with his motorcycle. He agreed to let me make a picture or two. I chose to use my 45mm lens, which is very wide on a 6×7 camera. It makes the headlight on his bike nice and big. Since the film is so large, it doesn’t have the distortion we’d see on a much smaller camera (like a full-frame DSLR ;) ).

I think the aperture is set at about f/5.6 and the shutter speed would be about 1/800s, while the film speed (ISO) is 160.

While we made pictures of this guy, these two gals drove up on their scooter and we made pictures with them, too. For this shot I switched to the 200mm lens, with similar settings as above. The 200mm lens makes a smaller background and gives us that blurriness in the background, too.

Go find a Carlos

In the end, it was a really fun time making pictures with people who aren’t paying me. That helps me keep portraiture as a hobby and helps me keep my photography muscles exercised for different opportunities.

So, go find a Carlos of your own and make something completely different this week.

Portrait Tips come out each week, and you can see them all right here.