Street photographer Ryan Hardman takes a different approach to photographing an airshow. He shares his top tips…
Press pass 1 (if possible)
When you’re planning a project which is an event, make sure that everything you do is well-prepared and professional. Ordering a press pass through the organisation is a good way to be taken seriously as a street photographer. In my case, it meant the events staff knew I was there as a photographer, taking pictures of the people attending.
Have a good 2 handle on theme
I spent a few days looking into other photographers’ work that would inspire my project. I was especially interested in how Martin Parr works at similar events. His latest work from the Chelsea Flower Show inspired me to focus on the human element of the airshow rather than setting out to photograph planes.
I planned carefully for this event, making sure my images captured the background of the events. This is where the project name, ‘Fixed Wing’, came from: the planes don’t have wings that move in or out. Having background knowledge of an event – how long it has been running, or how many people are going to attend – makes sure there is enough subject to capture.
I have really got into writing notes about projects and the feeling around the photography I capture. I have recently start blogging and giving advice on how to use camera equipment, how to deal with confrontation, and other street photography insights. The notebook really does help, as it can help to give the project the right direction.
Photographer’s eye 5
I have found out from continuous practice how to create pleasing compositions and work around other technical issues when I’m shooting. I will spend a lot of time not photographing at all, but just watching the subjects. I often photograph with both eyes open, letting people walk into the frame to allow myself to see more of the subjects around me.