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Hey Photographer!

Martina here with my own personal tips on diving into street photography. Enjoy!

What is street photography?

Street photography is a type of candid photography in public places, like a busy street, a restaurant, public transport or even a park. It is about photographing everyday life and society.

Street photographers often tell stories through their work and express the way they see the world. They can’t change a scene or the light but they choose what to shoot and what not to include.

Know the law

It is important to know your rights and the law. In the US there is no right to privacy in public, meaning you can photograph anyone in public places. In private property, that rule does not apply.

If you are traveling to different countries, research the local laws and make sure you know your rights.

Try to stay unnoticed

Street photographers often try to stay unnoticed. By doing so, they keep the moment natural. People’s faces appear natural since they don’t know they’re being photographed. Some photographers avoid eye contact when they get noticed or simply keep shooting and pretend they were taking shots of something else.

Social skills

When people realize you are taking pictures of them it is very important to handle the situation with care. People often feel uncomfortable being photographed, especially by strangers. Tell them you are a street photographer. Explain you saw something that grabbed your attention and you wanted to capture the moment. Show them the photo and offer to share it with them. Try to get to know your subject and their story. Just be friendly.

Get over your fear

Get over your fear and keep shooting. Remember you will never have the opportunity to take this same shot again with the same light and same subject. So if you think something is worth photographing, just go ahead and do it. You won’t be disappointed.

When I was traveling around the world there were so many moments and shots I didn’t take just because I was afraid of peoples reaction or simply I didn’t want to be rude. I still regret missing those moments.

Choose the right time of the day

It’s always great to play with shadows, amazing colors, and subjects.

Research the place you have chosen for your street photography and find out where your source of light is at different times of day. Golden hour is always an opportunity for amazing shots, but don’t limit yourself.

Keep shooting

Don’t settle for just one photo. Keep taking photographs until you get the desired effect. If you think you got the right shot, shoot a few more and than move to the next location.

Spend enough time at every location

Choose your background and wait until interesting subjects come along. Sometimes it takes few minutes, sometimes it takes a few hours and sometimes you are just out of luck. Don’t give up! Give it time and see what happens.

Exclude people

Street photography is not always about photographing people. You can photograph buildings, streets, urban landscapes, anything that is connected to our society in any way.

What’s important and what’s not in street photography

The most important aspects of street photography are the subject, the story behind each shot, and the mood of your photographs.

Less important are the quality of the photo or little bit of noise. Of course, you should always try to have the best quality but if you need to compromise, that’s completely fine.

Even the sharpest photos are worthless if there’s no story to tell or no composition.

Facial Expressions

As humans, we feel and understand other peoples feelings through their facial expressions. When shooting pay attention to people faces, their eyes and the expressions they show through body language, gestures and using their hands.

I hope these tips will spark some new ideas and passion for your own street photography!

Happy Shooting,
Martina

 
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