Photo by Lucas Vallecillos
Mexico City has a reputation for being dangerous but security has improved a lot in recent years, especially in the historic center where the police presence is constant during the day.
At night, like any city, things are a bit more edgy. This reputation can make a photographer worry about being out on the street with valuable equipment. In my experience, the city is fine and the people are really wonderful. However, as a precautionary measure, outside the tourist areas anywhere, it pays to be sensible about displaying your expensive camera gear.
To do street photography in such situations, I dress very discreetly and just pack a camera with a fixed lens, such as a 28mm or 35 mm. All the rest of my gear and any second camera body stay locked away in my hotel. The key to capturing images where those being photographed are aware of you is to engage them in conversation.
After a while, people will forget you are there, like the shoeshine guy and his client (above). Spending some time also allows them to lose their initial stiffness and become more natural in front of the camera, like these two taxi drivers waiting for customers (below).
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