Jul 17, 2017

Ten Steps to Successful Boy Watching

"Boy watching" is not about underaged boys.  It's the gay equivalent to what straight men used to call "girl watching" -- looking at the cute guys you see in public every day -- with a 21st century twist.  Since you go everywhere with a camera in your pocket, you can take pictures of interesting subjects.

Sure, you can go on the internet at any time and download hundreds of pictures of cute guys, clothed and naked, but it's much more fun, interesting, and exciting  to photograph someone that you've actually seen in real life.

Here are ten steps to successful boy watching:

1. Know the law

In the United States it's legal to photograph people in public places, or in private establishments open to the public, like bars, restaurants, and shopping malls.

Except where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as bathrooms, locker rooms, and doctor's office waiting rooms.

It's usually legal to photograph them in the parts of their property clearly visible from the street.

It's usually illegal to loiter (hang around with no legitimate business), especially near schools, playgrounds, and bus stations.

2. Be polite

If you want a close-up, ask first.

Don't follow, importune, annoy, or harass your subject.

Don't photograph the same subject more than once.


3. Don't be afraid of surreptitious photographs

The most interesting photos are taken of subjects who aren't aware that they're being photographed.

Pretend to be photographing something else, and they just happen to be "in the way."  It doesn't have to be something of great historic significance.  An interesting decal, a crowded restaurant, a highway truck stop.

Or have a confederate stand or sit in front of your subject, and photograph him.

If you're caught taking a surreptitious photograph, say something like "I'm doing research on this establishment.  Can I take your picture for local color?"

4. Take high-definition photos

There aren't any telephoto lenses for cell phone cameras yet, but you can take a hd photo from a distance of 20-40 feet and still have a nice image when you crop out everything but your target.

5. Try different locations.

It's boring photographing guys at the same gym, coffee house, and restaurant time after time.  Look for new locales: a shopping mall, a museum, a baseball game, a theater.

6. Don't cruise and photograph at the same time.

Trying to meet a guy for dating or sex requires a different set of skills from photographing him.  You can't do both at once.  If you want to pick him up, put the cell phone away.

7. Don't expect miracles.

Unless you're at the beach, you're not going to get shirtless shots.  Bulge shots are rare.  The face and physique are enough.

8. Don't worry if you miss your mark.

Don't worry if he turns at the wrong moment, or obscures his face, or sees you with the camera and "politely" steps out of the way.  There are plenty of other guys out there.

9. Keep careful records.

In six months, you won't remember where you saw him.  Record the date, time, location, what he was doing, who he was with.  It will make reliving the moment much more interesting.

10. Don't forget your main goal.

Don't let your search for a good shot keep you from appreciating his face and physique then and there.

Choose subjects who are less than spectacular.  When you encounter supreme beauty, you want to stay in the moment, forget the camera and just look.

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