I LOVE markets! Markets are a little footprint of the culture from a certain place and they have local, fresh products and fruits. As
an addition they are also often very photogenic!
Markets have a certain WOW-factor for me, I love exploring new places and new cultures and I believe that visiting a market is an important part of getting to know a certain place, region or country. Next to that I also LOVE food and local products like wooden woven baskets, soaps etc.
I have been visiting Castellane since I was a little child, and the market has always been an important part of my vacations(no matter which place I go to). The market is fun to walk through, the people are very nice and it is so beautiful. They have amazing products, fresh local products from the Provence. Products like vegetables and fruits, but also soaps, clothes and other things. It's all about the little things. And of course, when visiting the market I could not leave my camera at home. As a photographer and passionate traveller I see loads of photogenic things at markets like this, not only things but also people to photograph. I love to make portraits of people who's faces show powerful characters, like the one on the right from an Indian man..
My 10 tips of photographing markets
1. Photograph the little things
Little things are not only little, together they make something big. "To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focussed on the smallest detail." - Giorgio Armani
2. Photograph not only things but also people
Not only things are part of a market, things do usually not sell themselves and they are not bought by other products. People are also an important part of a market and the people working at a market can be a certain type of people, depending on the country/region/place. They can be beautiful models for portraits because people that work on markets often show a lot of character in their faces!
It can be a challenge to photograph people, not everyone would like to be on a photo. You can ask someone if you can make a photo of them. If you do this then give them a compliment first, this makes a person more at ease with going on a photo and it is always nice to hear compliments! For example what I said when I photographed the man on the left is "Goodmorning Mr, I am a travel photographer and I love your tapenade and the picture it makes in my head of you selling it. Could I please make a photo of you with the Tapenade?" And this man LOVED to hear this and was more then willing to be a part of my photo! Kindness can be an important aspect of opening new doors, not only within photography but in life itself.
3. Capture the moment
As you may have read in my example of tip no. 2, I photographed the man with the tapenade. Selling tapenade is what he does on the market. So I captured the moment. Portraits straight into the lens can be beautiful but if you ask me, capturing the moment is an important aspect of making a good series of photos from the market!
4. Fill your frame
I LOVE these kind of photo's! The two girls who gave me inspiration about this are Michaela Wissen and Janni Deler. Michaela is a Swedish photographer who is great at capturing moments! Janni is a Swedish Lifestyle/Fashion blogger/vlogger. In one of Janni's vlogs, where Michaela was part of they made photo's of a Framersmarket in Calabasas (LA). Which gave me so much inspiration, since then I've been playing with making these sort of photos as part of my series.
Look for interesting and/or colourful photo's that fill up your whole frame. These photo's look visually amazing, but also helps your overall series to tell a story!
5. Blend in
Blend inside the public, make yourself part of the people around you, especially when photographing people this can be important if you don't want them to see you or your camera, so your photo stays 'spontaneous' and natural. Your subject can stay in the moment.
Before making the photo, look for the things of which you think that make the market, things that you love about the market.
After observing and still before making the photo, think about how you would have to capture the thing or the person in order to create the photo that you are imagining. How can you achieve this?
Decide where you want to focus. The place of your focus can make a huge difference to how the photo comes to its rights.
You can choose this by choosing several focus modes in your camera. Such as single AF, continuous AF, but also the Focus Area, for example a flexible area(ability to move), a zone area (subject is being tracked), wide area or center area. *The names of these Focus Area's may differ per brand of camera.
Keep your series in the same style. What I mean with this is for example the lightening and the type of edit. Make sure your images within a series match each other so the overall look of the series fits beautifully together!
10. Variety Variety is great in any series of photo's, it keeps the person who watched your photo's interesting. If you see the same kind of photo over and over again you get bored at a certain time. Try to use angles, different subjects, different compositions and different lenses can also give a different look. But watch out that your photo's still match each other within the series.
*Those were my Top 10 tips when it comes to photographing markets. I hope you can do something with them and make beautiful pictures!
“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” — Elliott Erwitt