Ever wondered how a photographer manages to take stunning pictures of real-life people on the streets? Well, street photography truly brings out the essence of real, raw, and day-to-day life.
Unlike other genres of photography, you need not travel long roads to capture pictures. If you want to ace street photography, all you need is to look around and capture the scene.
As most photos are candid, without the knowledge or permission of the subjects, you need to be quick with your decisions. The things or subjects may not stand for a long time in the frame.
So if you are into street photography, then these street photography tips that we have curated will help you take some amazing photos that speak for itself.
8 Simple Street Photography Tips
1. Choose A Portable Camera And Lens
Choosing a suitable lens is one of the crucial decisions that you have to make when it comes to street photography. A telephoto lens might give you great pictures, but you surely don’t want to get scolded by some random strangers for focusing on them.
Therefore, you need a lens that gives you a fair amount of magnification and clarity and. at the same time. doesn’t look too suspicious. A wide-angle lens might be the apt option as it makes you look less suspicious.
Also, instead of using a heavy and bulky camera, go for a compact camera that can be carried around easily. If you are into street photography, you need to keep your camera in handy as you never know when you would find a rare sight. Thus, instead of using DSLR cameras, go for a compact camera and light in weight.
2. Keep A Flash In Handy
Some cameras come with in-built flashes, while some might have only the hot-shoe where you have to slide in a flash. If you own the latter type of camera or aren’t satisfied with the quality of built-in flashes, you need to have a flash in handy.
Even if flash photography isn’t something you are comfortable at, try to use the flash when required. You can’t afford to miss a wonderful shot just because you are afraid to try something new.
3. Keep The Camera Always Ready
The best part of street photography is that you never know when and where a rare sight occurs. When you see one, your mind should process it and prompt your hands to get the camera ready. All this should happen in microseconds so that you don’t lose the frame. So, it is important to keep your camera ready.
It is best to set your camera in the Aperture-Priority (AV) mode and manually select the required ISO and f-stop. If the weather outside is bright and sunny, start with f/16 and the ISO around 200 to 400.
Also, keep an eye on the shutter speed read by the camera and then make the necessary arrangements for the ISO and the aperture. If the shutter speed is well below 1/180th, then you are going to get a blurred shot. But in some cases, a blurred shot does look good. If you don’t require a blurred shot, then either increase your ISO or widen the aperture and in some cases, both.
4. Take The Risk
If you are new to street photography, you will be surely concerned with the people’s reactions when they realize that they are being photographed. The true essence of street photography is candidness. If you seek permission from your subjects, then you fill the frames with artificiality.
So, capture pictures in such a way that your subjects are unaware of it. When you find a moment worth capturing, there shouldn’t be an aversion to pull your camera and capture the shot.
To overcome this, you need to step outside and move around with the camera in your hand. In the long run, your fingers won’t hesitate anymore, and you can be a pro.
5. Capturing The Photos At Hip-Length
In some cases, you might not get a chance to lift your camera till your eyes. Either the sight won’t last that long, or it might irritate the subjects. In these cases, it’s best to capture the shots from the hip. Initially, you might not get great photos, but gradually, you will be able to master this trick.
6. Think Out Of The Box
Street photography isn’t about the glamour and glow of the city, it is about the life that goes unnoticed. If you are going behind the pretty frames, then it can’t be classified as street photography.
If you are new to the field, then stick onto a concept such as the life of the urban poor. Try clicking pictures that best describe this theme. Start taking pictures around a theme and gradually move onto capturing anything and everything you see and then try figuring out a theme from those pictures. Both of these tactics will help you get some stunning shots that look candid and real.
7. Experiment With Street Portraits
Candid street portraits are the best. But if you are feeling a bit nervous or fear that the subjects would scream at you, then ask their permission and start capturing some street portraits.
If you are willing to send them a copy of the photo, then many would agree and you get some free models. While capturing street portraits, don’t go for the usual half-smile photos. Instead, try to bring out their personality and capture them candidly.
8. Stop Seeking Action
Stop seeking the action, instead, let the action come to you. Instead of wandering around with the motive to capture, rest in a place, and observe what’s going around. For this, it’s important to pick up a happening area, like a crowded coffee shop or a moving bus. These places are filled with human interactions and you will surely get at least a couple of pics that are worth the efforts.
These 8 street photography tips that we have curated for you will help you hone your skills and level you up in the field of street photography. If you want to be a professional street photographer, then know that hesitation is something you need to hunt down first.
With that done, consider half of your job completed. Rest is all about setting your camera and capturing that candid frame.