One of the best forms of photography happens to be street photography, and while it is an excellent way of taking pictures, the one thing that I have come to know about this type of photography is how difficult it is for most people to understand in the start.
I fully understand that one might look at it and tell themselves that it is not at all difficult but at the same time, I have seen people struggling.
Therefore, in this post, we are going to discuss street photography tips that have helped me get better and better, and hopefully, we can come to a conclusion that it is not something that is difficult for anyone at all. So, let’s not waste time and have a look right away.
What Does Street Photography Mean?
Now, when you are talking about street photography, but a lot of people often find themselves confused as to what it means to begin with. Honestly, it is never something that is complicated.
Any photography that is done out in the streets with a specific focus on the elements that you find on the streets can be considered street photography without a doubt.
You can, of course, go ahead and experiment with different elements being a part of it, but overall, it never really is something that should come in the way of how you take pictures. It is, of course, not for everyone, but you can easily manage to take some stunning shots if you are patient enough.
Does Street Photography Need People?
Honestly, this all depends on the photographer. If you are under the impression that your photography can use some people in it, go for it.
However, if you feel like you would do great without having people in it, that would also be just fine. The point here is that you should never find yourself in such confusions to begin with.
Do you want people to be in the photograph? Go ahead and take pictures and see how the results come out. It never is too late to experiment in such cases, and this is what I always suggest to everyone.
For Street Photography, Camera Equipment Is Essential
Whenever you are in the process of taking pictures, the one thing that you always need to understand is that you cannot overlook your camera equipment.
Now, I do understand that most people will not be paying attention to it but having at least one prime lens and one zoom lens is going to help you a lot more than you might know.
If you are doing videos, getting your hands on a gimbal is another thing that you should be looking into, and you would do all fine.
Another thing that I would suggest is that a good camera strap or a sling is going to be very, very important when you are out on the street because you really do not want to drop your camera as the results could be less than pleasing and we do not want that for anyone.
A Good Camera For Street Photography Is Essential
Moving further, whenever you are finding yourself in a situation where you have to go on a venture and cover the streets. My advice would always be that you are spending some money getting your hands on a good camera.
I do understand that this is not something for everyone, but doing so is going to help you infinitely, and you will be able to take some stunning pictures as well.
I’m not saying that you have to go for the highest-end camera because anything that is solid enough should do the job just fine.
Take your time, explore your options, and then you can see how you want to approach the situation at hand. I can assure you that it will never be difficult to take care of.
29 Street Photography Tips To Help You Capture Great Images!
Now that we are done talking about the basics of street photography, the next thing that we are going to do is share some tips with you that can help you get some amazing results. Again, it is a process of trial and error, so do not worry if things do not work in your favor.
#1- Treat Others With Respect
Simply put, when you are out in the streets and taking pictures, you have to be certain that you are being respectful towards everyone who is out there as well.
Remember, they do not owe you anything, but you have to respect them. If they are not in the mood to get photographed, you apologize and look for another subject.
Invading someone’s space and privacy is not going to get you a good rep if you are trying to become a street photographer.
#2- Bad Weather
Considering how the weather can be unpredictable in most parts of the world, if you are thinking about getting out and taking pictures, I would highly suggest that you are first looking at the weather and how it is.
Check the forecast to see if you can properly plan your day and go out on the street. You do not want to be caught in the rain without any protective gear for yourself or the camera.
#3- Get Down Low Or Get Up High
Whenever you are out on the streets, remember that you should be comfortable enough to get in spots where most people might not want to be in.
Be aware of the surroundings, and do not be afraid of going down or getting up high to get the perfect shot. After all, you are trying to take pictures of all the goodness around you, so it is only fair that you are doing it rightly.
#4- Monochrome Magic
Always remember that not all street photography has to be about color. If you are not feeling the colors taking over, you can easily go ahead and change things up a bit.
What I mean to say here is that you can always look into some customizations, and that should get the job done for you. It will surely take time, but at least you will be able to take the pictures you want to take.
#5- Make Sure Your Camera Has Its Auto-iso Setting Turned On
One thing that I would highly suggest is that when you are out in the street, turn your camera to auto ISO, I do understand that it is better to keep the ISO as low as possible, but street photography is all about fast-moving action and in such situations, having a higher ISO is the way to go.
#6- Which Is Better, Wide Or Close Up?
Another thing that you will find yourself wondering is whether you should go for a wide shot or a closeup shot. Honestly? Do not be afraid to do some experiments because that will only results in you missing out on some amazing shots.
Keep a zoom lens and a wide-angle prime with you so you can have the best of both worlds and get excellent pictures.
#7- Camera Settings
Always, I repeat, always put your camera in manual mode whenever you are out and about taking street photographs.
The reason here is rather simple, manual mode allows you to have access to the best settings without your camera coming in the way. You would want to keep it that way and keep photographing so you do not run into problems.
#8- Choosing The Best Lens
Another thing is that you have to choose a good lens. Now, a lens is something that most people are going to be confused about. However, I have talked about time and again that you should be using a combination of prime and zoom lenses, preferably sharper ones and with wide apertures.
#9- Put Yourself In Their Shoes
Another tip that I am going to share with everyone is that you should always put yourself in other people’s shoes because, let’s be honest, you will need to know how they are feeling when they are being photographed (if you are including people in your pictures)
#10- Don’t Listen To The Voice In Your Mind
This is not just in street photography but happens elsewhere too. When you are out and about taking pictures, there will be a voice in your head constantly telling you that the picture you are taking should not be taken. Don’t listen to that voice.
#11- Shoot At Night
Now, this is entirely preferential, but if you are looking to get good at photography, there is going to be an option for you to shoot at night.
I know not everyone might be a fan, but hey, you do get excellent pictures at night as well. Street photography can be done at any time of the day.
#12- Image Quality Isn’t Everything
I have seen so many photographers be the bane of being good at street photography, but the one thing that you have to keep in mind is that image quality is not everything.
Why? Sometimes, your picture has to give a message, and if the message can be delivered in one way or another, you are good to go.
#13- Do Not Be Influenced By What Others Think Of You
When you are out in the streets with a camera in your hand, a lot of times, people are going to judge you for what you are doing or just look at you weirdly. Do not let their looks and judgments get to you.
#14- Request Permission
If you are about to photograph someone out on the streets, you cannot just go ahead and take pictures of them without asking them first. Always seek permission before going ahead because it is very important that you do.
#15- Look For An Association Between Two Ideas
Sometimes, when you are on the street, I would always suggest that you look for some form of association between two shots.
It could be the shot of a cat and a child interacting, you now have two subjects, and you can use this shot to show an association of sorts.
One more tip that I am going to let you know is that you do not always have to nail the focus. You can pre-focus to see if the composition is right and all the pieces fit together because, to be honest, that is very important.
#17- You Should Be Physically Fit
Street photography can be physically challenging, especially on a hot summer day. If you are dealing with heat or anything that can challenge your mobility, be sure that you have all the arrangements that you need.
#18- Shoot Your Subjects Mid-stride In A “v” Shape
Moving further, when you are about to photograph a subject, be sure that they are in the mid-stride or a V shape. That way, there is going to be enough separation, and you will be able to take the type of picture you want to take with ease.
#19- Stay Away From The Middle Ground
There is ideally nothing wrong with the middle ground but a lot of times, this is not something I would suggest. Middle ground might end up making the images look flat, and we do not want flat.
#20- The “.7 Meter” Challenge
The .7 meter challenge is simple, try a lens that has a minimum focusing distance of just .7m and see if you can get some good pictures out of it, and chances are, you will.
Honestly, this might not look like a big deal, but if done correctly, it can do wonders.
#21- Look For Gestures
Moving further, when you are out in the streets, focusing on the gestures can help you a lot more than you might understand.
Take your time and see if you can find some gestures that can tell a story, and you will get some amazing shots.
#22- Stalk Bus Stops
Okay, now many people might find this comfortable but bus stops usually are a great place to get some amazing shots. So, be on the lookout and see if you run into something that you would like to photograph there.
#23- A Street Photograph Without Feeling Is Lifeless
Always be certain that the pictures you are taking out on the street have some life in them because if that is not happening, then what even is the point of taking the pictures in the first place.
Just be sure that you have emotions in the picture or some form of message.
#24- Use A Flash
Ideally, I am against flash, but there are certain situations where you might need to get some flash, especially if you are shooting and there is not enough natural light. There is nothing really wrong with having a flash at hand, to begin with.
#25- Aim Head-on
Moving further, I would suggest that you aim head-on. The purpose here is that you need to get the shot as the moment is happening, and if you are delaying or not taking the shot head-on, you might end up losing the picture and not getting the picture you want.
#26- You Can Shoot Street Photography From Your Car
This one is a bit tricky, but you can actually go ahead and shoot street photography from your car. Now, it does not have to be a moving car, but you can also park your car in one of the most happening spots, take out the camera, and get started.
#27- Follow The Light
Light is paramount in street photography and when you are in the process, be sure that you are following the light as it is going to help you a lot more than you might think. Always focus on this, and you would be good to go.
#28- Photograph Like A Child
I know this is something that most people might not agree with, but with street photography, I would suggest that you go ahead and let your inner child come out and take pictures like there is no tomorrow. Make mistakes, as well.
#29- Choose A Spot And Wait
Last but not least, if you do want a good experience, I would suggest that you go and choose a spot, then wait in that spot with your camera. I can assure you that you will get some amazing shots.
Are All Street Photography Candid Shots?
This is a common question that comes our way all the time, and no, not all street photography are candid shots. There are a lot of pictures in the streets that are not done in the candid style at all, and there is nothing wrong.
What Should You Not Do In Street Photography?
One thing that you should know is that whenever you are taking pictures in the street, I would always suggest that you are being careful about your camera gear. Not just that, you should always be ensuring that you are not invading someone’s personal space.
This is not something that everyone keeps in mind or decides to be careful, but honestly, if you are new to street photography, take it slow, and you will get some great results.
Wrapping it up, street photography is inherently fun, and there is a lot to do that you can achieve, but I would always suggest that you are being careful in the process.
Just take care of the process of photography and do everything the right way. Things are not going to go wrong in any case, and you would be good to go.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
#Q1- Why is street photography so hard?
Answer: I would not say that street photography is hard, but there are a lot of factors that can allow the process to go out of hand if you are not being careful enough.
#Q2- Do you need permission to do street photography?
Answer: Yes, in most of the cases, you are going to need permission from the people that you are photographing because not doing so is not going to be good.
#Q3- Can street photography make money?
Answer: Yes, in most of the cases, you can make money through street photography.
#Q4- Is street photography creepy?
Answer: Some people might consider it creepy, but if you are being clear and transparent, then there is nothing wrong with it.
#Q5- Is street photography safe?
Answer: In most cases, as long as you are not being a creep and creating issues for people, street photography is safe as it can get.