While I'm in Germany over the next two weeks, in addition to visiting family I'm going to wander the streets of many small and mid-sized towns and cities. And, as I do here at home when we go to a city with a vibrant downtown (Charleston, Chicago, Seattle), I will have either my Olympus OM-D E-M1 or Panasonic GM-5 in my hand ready to capture moments on the street. Occasionally, I'll approach someone and ask if I may take his or her picture and sometimes a person will notice I've taken a picture of them without my having asked them. Experiences I've had on photowalks at the Out of Chicago conference in 2015 and 2016 have helped me get better at dealing with both such situations.i
This time, though, I want to be prepared if I approach someone whose image I want to capture. Likewise if someone asked me what I'm doing, why I'm taking pictures of people, I wanted to have something to show them and something to give them. So I've made up small cards to give to people and printed sample images of things I've shot when making images in the street. Each card has an image I've taken in the last year or two that I really like and that represents the type of images I'm looking for as I walk through the streets. In addition to my name, each card displays my cell number, e-mail address, and web site URL. I created these cards by making a layout that would fit on a 4 x 6 photo sheet. I divided the layout so that four finished cards - size: 3 x 2 - would fit on the photo sheet. After printing them, I cut them to yield my four handout cards.
I also selected several specific images from those I used on the cards and printed two to six of them on a 4 x 6 photo sheet. I just did two sheets. I then used photo-safe double sided tape and attached one sheet to each side of a 4 x 6 piece of cardboard. I will carry that in my pocket so if someone questions what I'm doing, I can pull it out and show them a collection of larger images so they see what kind of images I like to make and that I'm not doing anything sinister.
Finally, I will also carry the small 8" x 8" Blurb book I recently made with my 97 favorite B&W images from my 2015 365-Day Photo Project. This, likewise, will show people, I hope, that I am a harmless photographer with no ulterior motives. I expect only to use the small book if I really get into a conversation with someone or I need to show someone what I'm likely to do with the image I made of them. Otherwise, my two photo sheets with samples should suffice.
The handout cards will be useful in a couple of ways. One way, of course, is to give a person an e-mail address if they want a copy of the image I took of them. That can be handy, as well, on those occasions where someone asks me to take a picture of them. Secondly, the card gets my web site address in people's hands and that can, possibly, help to promote my site and this blog. Finally, when I use these cards back in the States, the card gives people my contact info in case they want to sign up for tutoring.
I will be most happy if, when I return home, all or most of my cards are gone! And, of course, I have lots of images of life on the streets of Bavarian towns and cities.