The Art of Being Inconspicuous

The term of shooting photographs in an “Inconspicuous” way has becoming pretty popular over the last couple of months. Inconspicuous is a fancy word but with a huge positive results when applied in photography.

What Does ‘Inconspicous’ Mean?

Inconspicuous in photography refers to the art of taking photos without attracting attention. It is a great deal to be able to take pictures in almost an invisible form. The photographer and the camera should be unnoticeable or unobtrusive before and after that shutter is pressed.

Some photographers hid their cameras in their clothes, and managed to capture some pretty amazing results, but that’s too much for my taste.

When is it useful?

This philosophical method is usually practiced in street photography as well as documentary.

A person’s portrait is best captured when they are not fully aware that you are taking their pictures.

The Methods

There are two ways to practice inconspicuous photography. First is by shooting discretely, and second by gaining people’s trust at a level that you become a natural being in their environment. Some cultures are more open than the others, so keep in mind that you should always be respectful.

1. Gaining Trust and Socialising

If you are just starting out, try with a smaller camera first so that it is easier to approach people and naturally develop your social skills. Why? Because having a massive camera with a huge lens is always more intimidating. As a result, people get to feel pretty uneasy when having those massive lenses pointing at their faces.

Photographers connecting with the public
Connect with people by showing them your past work or photos from your camera.

Stick with smaller gears, and be nice to people. Connect with society in a way that you gain people’s trust. You’re a photographer, be proud and let them know.

2. Shooting Discreetly

If you are in a rush and do not feel like socialising with people or interact with them, try to shoot from the hip, or from the stomach. This takes a lot of practice. Use a prime lens or a fixed focal length lens. It gets easier when you fully understand and master your camera lenses.

Most people are aware that they are being photographed when a photographer aims to shoot through the viewfinder. I have worked with a massive camera on the streets, and people never notice that I’m taking pictures of them. A camera does not require you to lift the device to your face to take a photo.


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