The most amazing thing about street photography is the freedom and endearing aspects of humanity that can be captured in just a single quick click. To succeed in street photography, you have to continuously improve your perspective about how you see things, without getting tired. Don’t go to its name, it isn’t necessary that all the clicks should include “street”, it is about documenting everyday life and society, be it at the beach, park, bus, subway, or any public place.
Most may think that street photography generally refers to as shooting candidly (without informing or knowledge of your subjects). But it’s not quite the case because it doesn’t always need to be candid, you can ask for permission when capturing images of a stranger. In short, the most important aspect of street photography is capturing reality, emotions, and soul.
So, if you want to enhance your street photography and become a pro at it, here is some advice from us:
1. Make or break your own rules
Street photography is all about testing your own new rules; there will be mistakes but gradually after extensive practice, you’ll figure out how to do it the right way. You might have to create new rules and break them over and over again to improve yourself and be better next time.
2. Invest maximum time
The best thing a beginner can do to master any skill is investing extra time and practicing it a lot. Same goes to street photography. A professional footballer doesn’t become a pro by just playing on the weekends, they do it every single day. Take your camera, go out every day, find new things and capture them in a different way until you get the best.
3. Leave your comfort zone
Taking photos on the street or in a public place, you need to engage with people. Some may hesitate in communicating with others but to be a winner you have to leave your comfort zone. Engage more with people without worrying about your comfort zone; this way you will be much more willing to go outside and shoot better.
4. Portray yourself in your work
A photographer distinguishes his work from others’ by being unique and putting himself in his work. You can look at someone’s work and easily guess how they would be in real life. Your photograph reflects how you are as a person. If you haven’t yet investigated who you are as a photographer, you should, because that is the only way to build your own style and consuming yourself in your work.
5. The moment of action
When doing street photography, keep your eye open for the moment of action because perfect timing is all that matters. The moment of action is when everything comes together in a perfect moment and you hit the shutter button. There can be several moments of action, this means if you see the best street photography scene, you shouldn’t just take a single photograph; Take about 10 to 30 photos and then afterward in the editing process, select the image that seems the best to you.
6. Play with contrast
In street photography, you can create something amazing by just playing with contrast. Here contrast refers to juxtaposing elements in your frame; putting two elements in a frame that directly contradict each other while still having some kind of relationship between them. For instance, a picture of a fat person standing to a skinny one is a contrasting picture. Such photographs add a touch of attraction.
The most important element of street photography is emotion. It can add many things in just a simple photograph. Strong emotions portray some sort of reflection on the human condition. It can be sadness, happiness, anxiety, loneliness, love, or humor. Finding real emotions is easier on the streets because people are acting normal and natural. The secret here is to be quick enough to capture the body language or facial expressions. If you successfully capture such photograph (full of emotions), people will surely connect with it on a deeper level.
8. Focus on details
Indulge people with details. It is human nature that when you show less, they will try to explore more. So the trick here in street photography is that you can show less of what is going on in the photograph. For instance, rather than capturing the whole picture of someone on the streets, you can focus on their hands, feet, or anything they are holding. Make sure the photo is somewhat meaningful because people will try to fill the understanding gap by connecting that photo with their perspective about it.
In short, if you want to focus on details, there should be something meaningful in your photo too.
9. Urban landscapes
Street photography is not just about shooting human faces and emotions. You can also create compelling urban landscapes that show some kind of connection between the human condition and society. You can find a scene that shows a sense of nostalgia. For instance, capturing a burning or run-down building can make a strong social statement.
10. Explore common objects
Sometimes just an ordinary thing on the ground can become the most interesting thing in street photography. Never ignore common objects you find in public places. Get close to them and contrast them with other objects. Be creative and find several ways to make your photo look interesting.
Street photography is all about keeping your eye open for the right moments and doing a lot of practice. The key points we shared will help you excel in street photography and lead you to become a professional street photographer. You don’t really need expensive gear to shoot photographs in street but having good gear will surely assist in making your photos exceptional.
You can check our guide on gear for street photography if you want to know the essential items to take when next time you hit the streets.