Are you a spy trying to catch that perfect shot of a mafia member? Are you trying to catch a lioness in the heat of the chase without getting eaten yourself? Or are you just trying to get through a major city without getting your precious camera jacked? Either way, there are plenty of ways to be the inconspicuous photographer – wherever you’re taking photos.
The beauty of it being 2016 is that we can have excellent cameras in our phones and in small, pocket cameras that don’t require massive lenses, bags, and all that jazz. If you’re really wanting to remain unnoticed, use the smallest camera possible that doesn’t compromise on quality. You can even buy lenses for your iPhone, did you know that? Bigger doesn’t always mean better, and it’s harder for muggers to steal something they can’t see! Choose your camera based on the quality, not on how cool a huge camera looks! You’ll thank yourself later.
Many photographers have those cliche “I’m a photographer” bags – you know the ones. The ones that are all boxy, look like an 1980s lunchbox, and are hard to lug around. If you don’t want everyone and their dog to know you have a super nice camera in that bag, buy one that looks normal. There are plenty of great options out there now, from messenger/briefcase style bags, to backpacks, duffel bags, and even suitcases. Buy one that fits your personality and that you can use for laptops, notebooks, and anything else you need to carry with you. Also make sure they’re not easy to unzip!
The Right Clothes
Whether you’re trying to not get eaten by a lioness or trying to blend into the paisley wallpaper at a wedding, it’s important that you wear clothes that fit the occasion and don’t scream, “I’m here to take pictures!” Or really clothes that scream anything; you want to blend in, remember? Buy neutral tones, don’t wear anything obnoxious, and dress for the weather. You want yourself and your camera to be protected at all times, and you want the people (or animals) you’re photographing to carry on as if you’re even there any more!
Less Additional Equipment
In the vein of smaller is better, and travel lightly, it’s important that you don’t have two camera bags full to the brim of things if you’re trying to fly under the radar. If you can fit everything you need into one inconspicuous bag, you’re going to do very well for yourself, Young Spy. Pick your equipment based on size and quality, and pack only what you need for the task at hand. Plus if you’re really trying to be sneaky, you’ll want the best lens with the best zoom so you don’t have to get too close. Spy 101.
If you need any more help being inconspicuous, you’re either at risk of getting eaten by a lioness or you’re in a shady place where you shouldn’t be. Be smart; don’t get eaten.