Street Photography

Last Updated on April 8, 2021

photograph of women in apartment window

Street photography is the raw and candid shots of people showing them in the light of true Humanity. so this means street photography is all about being real and in the moment. Street photography is ultimately for the photographer who is the Observer of life in real time.

Street photographers capable of connecting with the world and bringing out the moments that are pieces of the pie that is life.

Street photography is visual poetry, it condenses the massive world each of us is surrounded  buy into one beautiful and real moment.

Street photography gives the subtle hints that allow the viewer to feel the story of the world around them. And this is brought to life by the artist known as the street photographer.

Considerations for the street photographer

street photograph of musicians

Wherever you choose to take your street photography shots, be sure to get an understanding of all local laws and regulations regarding taking pictures of people and places. Well this is not intended to be legal advice, different locales have different laws regarding what is legal when taking Street photographs. This often relates to pictures taken for commercial use but may also impact pictures intended for artistic purposes. Please be aware that in some areas it is not legal to do street photography without permission of the people or businesses being pictured. Some Street photographers attempt to get around these rules by ensuring that all subjects in their shots are not identifiable. Again just be sure to look into your local laws or the laws of the place you are intending to shoot.

A street photographer should also take into consideration the ethics behind taking pictures of those who are unaware that they are being photographed. Well it might be legal you should consider how you feel about taking pictures of people who are unaware that they are being shot. I personally do not keep pictures of individuals who do not wish to have their photograph taken. When taking street photography that includes human subjects, I will take my candid photographs and then do my best to gain permission from the subjects. If they do not wish to have their picture saved or I am unable to make contact with them I dispose of the photograph.

Another consideration is that street photography often has people who are homeless oh, my personal take on this is I do not treated any differently than any other subject. I gained permission or I do not keep the picture. It is important when capturing Humanity to actually consider what that actually means. And in my philosophy it is important to show all the spectrum of Life Experiences but at the same time understand that these are human beings and they deserve dignity and the ability to give or not give permission.

How to do street photography

street photograph of a woman sitting on the side of the road

When you first begin your journey as a street photographer you very well may fear getting out there. The first suggestion I give is to push through any fear and just get yourself out there to take your shots. Grab one of my picks for the best camera for street photography or any camera you have on hand and get started. Carry yourself with confidence and always keep in mind the importance of respect and dignity in your subjects. Remember the more shots you take the more you will develop your own style and voice. And the only way to get there is to practice and take photographs.

The fear of getting caught doing street photography can be crippling for some photographers. Some fear getting close to strangers as there are many of us who are artistic types who are introverts. The best advice I can give is to just go out and respectfully take a lot of pictures and if somebody  does confront you simply smile and be friendly and tell the person that yes you are taking Street photographs. That you found beauty in the moment and ask them for permission and then respect their wishes. If the individual does not give permission show them that you delete the photograph thank them for their time and then just move on to your next shot.

The more frequently you go out as a street photographer the more comfortable you will get with this type of rejection. It just comes with the territory as a street photographer.

But you will be surprised how rarely this ultimately happens. Many people will either feel flattered or just be indifferent. Again is all about how you approach the situation and if you do so with respect and dignity you will have excellent results.

Many photographers enjoy roaming through their city and taking pictures as they go. This is an excellent way to explore a city and find unique and interesting subjects. Another excellent approach is to find one location and allow the city and its life to come to you. Capturing  as it comes to you is an amazing way to capture living feel of a city.

Many Street photographers like to take on the Persona of a tourist while they are taking pictures. This allows them to better blend in with the actual Taurus and giving them more opportunities for natural and candid shots. Some go so far as to act confused about what their location is and how even to use their camera. Ultimately, the more unassuming and subtle you are while taking your shots will correlate to more natural reacting subjects. It is a good idea to avoid making direct eye contact with your subjects as this can draw their attention away from there natural way of being and cause them to focus on your camera. Learn to blend in with your surroundings and you will find that your street photography skills will improve. 

Street photographers are experts at using their eyes. But what does this mean? If you spend your entire time while doing street photography behind the camera you will miss what is going on around you. A great Street photographer is able to take in all of that to which is going on around them and find the moment that is best to capture. to do this you must see your entire surroundings and that is almost impossible to do if you spend all your time with the camera up to your eye. Bend a good chunk of your street photography sessions observing. And in time your I will develop to the point to where you will know the best shots for your particular voice.

Street photographers also very their perspective. From far away shots to extreme close-ups you can capture amazing pictures that will tell the true story of life in the city. Most photographers struggle with the close-ups. So practice taking shots of people and places right up close. Always be aware of respecting your subjects though.

Ultimately a street photographer is how to capture and tell the stories of the emotions behind their subjects. Some of the greatest street photography pictures I have seen capture the raw emotional states of people in their day-to-day life. This should be one of your goals.

When doing street photography you should stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone. This goes for the locations that you choose as well. it is great to intimately get to know an area but do not let yourself get stuck in a rut. Go to places you’ve never been explore the area and find the shot that you are looking for. There are amazing photography opportunities everywhere suit do not be afraid to explore your surroundings. This will light a fire in you which will translate into your photography subjects. 

Check the picks for the best lens for street photography