Many great shots have been missed because of the intimidation some feel when shooting strangers in crowded public areas. To avoid uncertainty, famous photographer Elliott Erwitt sometimes had a friend pretend to be his model and shot past his decoy with a telephoto lens.

Some tips to keep in mind if you’re going to be shooting out in public on your own:

• Be confident if someone approaches you. Shake hands with them and tell them who you are and what you’re doing. Hand them a business card if possible.

• Get your camera ready for the shot you want while facing a different direction. Pretend to take some shots before turning and capturing the one you really want. This will make it seem like your last shot is only an afterthought and you’ll feel less intrusive.

For more tips on shooting in public, check out Fourteen Tips for Photographing in Public by Mike Johnston at