How to Do Street Photography – Everything You Need to Know
I think for a lot of people, street photography is perhaps the most common interests whenever they are talking about getting into a new form of photography. This is understandable, as well, as it allows you to truly express yourself in perhaps the most creative way and the freedom here is unparalleled. However, a lot of times, getting into it can be confusing for new comers. Sure, you can simply point your camera at something specific and start shooting but what if I tell you that street photography is a lot easier, and if you are wondering how to do street photography, you are in luck because that is what we are exploring today.
So, how to get started with street photography? Honestly, you do not even need access to a proper camera. If you have the eye, you can take some stunning shots with your phone, put them through post-processing, and you have a recipe for some amazing pictures. Still, we are going to make sure that you know what needs to be done.
How to Do Street Photography
If you are looking to do justice to street photography and you want to be sure that there are no faults in the way you take pictures, then this is for you because we are going to look into all the aspects of street photography and how things can be handled the right way.
1- Understanding Your Photography Equipment
The first thing that you need to understand is your equipment. Buying a camera and a lens are perhaps the easiest things that you can do. The actual work starts once you have to start learning the tips and tricks and that is when most people end up getting frustrated. If you are really looking forward to be certain that you learn the best bits of photography, then knowing your equipment is must.
Play with the settings on your camera, but also learn how they work. Yes, pointing and shooting will get you an image but the way you compose your image is a lot more important than that. Composition and framing are important parts of street photography—you want to be certain that the pictures you are taking can tell a story.
While you are at it, I would also advise you to try out a variety of lenses. If you are looing for some really good walk-around lenses, you can check our round up here. The point here is that before you head out in the streets, you need to have a proper understanding of photography, to begin with. Only then you would be able to get things in order.
2- Try Being Candid
I do understand that this is perhaps not an easy thing to do but in order to be sure that you are getting the best pictures, try capturing the moment instead of asking people to pose. Posing for a photo, in my opinion, takes the soul out of a picture.
Being candid while being on the street is not as difficult, to be honest. However, you have to be ready for some people not being very open to being photographed without consent. This is where our next point comes in.
3- Be Respectful
The world is a vast sandbox filled with people from all walks of life. Some friendly, some not so friendly. In such a situation, a street photographer cannot just go out with a simple mindset that I am going to capture as many photos as possible. As a street photographer, there are going to be many instances where you will be turned down—sometimes nicely, other times rudely. Your code of conduct, however, should always be respectful. If someone is not comfortable being photographed, leave them be. If you still think they are an interesting individual, strike up a conversation with them and see where that leads you.
4- Experiment with Perspectives
Now, this is something that I always tell everyone who is about to get into street photography—you should always experiment with perspectives. I would normally advise that you take a 28-70mm lens, this is an excellent focal length range for various perspectives as you are able to shoot portraits as well as wide-angle shots with this and honestly, the results alone are stellar, to say the least.
Again, your street photography does not have to be closed off or too open all the time. It all depends on what you are capturing and the mood of the photo that you are about to take. Rest assured, the more you experiment, the better you will be able to understand what needs to be done.
5- Don’t Be Hesitant
I still remember when I started taking pictures of people in my university—I was always so hesitant with taking the shot even when my eyes saw it to be the perfect fit. I would always advise that you are being careful when you are photographing, but at the same time, if you see something on the street and you think that it deserves a capture, go for it.
This means that you should photograph animals, people, cars, traffic, silhouettes, and whatever it is there that captures your eye and your imagination. Take as many shots as you want and you would be good to go.
6- Learning Post Processing
The last tip that I would leave you with is that you should brush up on your post processing skills as they are going to help you a lot in ensuring that the pictures you are taking are stunning not only out of the camera, but once you have edited them, as well. You don’t have to drastically edit them—you can just do some basic color correction and cropping, and you will end up with stunning results every single time.
If you are thinking about getting into street photography and you are in need of some guidance then this post is for you. The purpose here was to be sure that you are looking at all the aspects of street photography because they are important. I would not advise you to stick to your usual style of photography. If you think you want to experiment, go right head with it and the results you will get are going to be surprising, to say the least.
Rest assured, the more you invest your time in this type of photography, the better you will be in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hi! I’m Furqan Shahid, founder of SnapDirector. With a decade of experience capturing countless moments, I’m here to guide you on your photography journey and save you from gear pitfalls!