Street photography is a genre of photography that captures candid moments of daily life in public spaces. It can be challenging to capture compelling and authentic images in a fast-paced, unpredictable environment. However, with some practice and preparation, you can create stunning images that tell a story of the city and its people.
This week has been a great challenge for me as I definitely feel odd taking photos of strangers in the streets. I'm sure you feel the same when you are just starting with street. Here are three tips to help you shoot better street photographs:
- Be patient and observant — The key to capturing interesting street photographs is to be patient and observant. Take the time to study the environment and the people around you, and wait for the right moment to capture an authentic moment. Look for interesting characters, unique scenes, and captivating light. The more time you spend observing your surroundings, the more opportunities you will have to capture great photos.
- Use a fast shutter speed — Street photography often involves capturing moving subjects, such as people walking, cycling, or driving. To freeze the motion and avoid blur, it's essential to use a fast shutter speed. Aim for a shutter speed of at least 1/250th of a second or faster. You can also increase your ISO to get a faster shutter speed while maintaining proper exposure.
- Get close and engage with your subjects — To capture authentic moments and emotions in street photography, it's essential to get close to your subjects and engage with them. Strike up a conversation, ask for permission to take their picture, or simply smile and acknowledge them. This will not only help you capture more interesting and intimate images, but it will also build trust and respect with the people you photograph. Be friendly, approachable, and genuine, and your subjects will feel more comfortable and natural in front of the camera. This approach will allow you to create more compelling and authentic images that tell a story of the people and the city.
The third tip I find to be extremely helpful. If you've ever seen some of Joe Greer's Street Diaries vlogs he talks about engaging with your potential subjects and environment. Smiling and putting your energy into an environment is a concept he regularly talks about that returns some great photos in the streets.
Street photography can be a fun and rewarding genre of photography. By being patient, using a fast shutter speed, and engaging with your subjects, you can create powerful images that capture the essence of life in the city. Remember to always be respectful of your subjects and to have fun with the process.
Related: 52-week Photography Challenge 2023