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Photo Guide: Street Photography

Blurry person on bike

What Is Street Photography?

There is no defining street photography, through the years it has changed drastically, but one constant is that it is candid. For the longest time street photography has been preferred to be done with a 35mm or a 50mm lens. Capturing the world around you, and the unique individuals who inhabit it.

The true beauty of street photography is being able to capture moments that will likely never happen again!

This art can be done by getting close to your subject, or keeping your distance, however we recommend getting as close as possible!

Do Not Fear The Street.

What do we mean by that? We mean, do not be afraid to get close to your subjects. Taking photos of people is legal in most spots across the US. (however, be sure to double check the law near you before taking photos of people picking their noses). As long as you are shooting on public property it is well within your right to shoot away.

Of course, there may be instances where a subject asks you what you are doing or if you photographed them. In order to avoid any sort of altercation, simply reply with something along the lines of:

“I found your outfit to be very interesting.”

“I am a photography student and my teacher said to photograph the diversity in my state.”

If those responses do not work and they get upset, you may have to resort to offering to delete the photograph and apologize.

Patience Is Key.

When practicing the art of Street Photography, patience will be your best friend. Don’t expect to get off the subway and see dozens of photo ops, being trigger (shutter) happy is not always beneficial when shooting street. Instead, wait, plan, find a spot, or a billboard, art on a wall, and wait for the perfect subject to enter your frame. If you see an interesting person, wait for them to come to you, or you can follow them for a little bit and see if they go anywhere that might be able to truly capture how unique they are.

If you can, try to avoid shooting the homeless, the street performers, superheros, and Elmo. Anybody can do that. Try to find your niche on the street and go for it!

Wait So How Am I Doing This?

  • Go to an urban area!

  • Identify the settings you want to shoot, subjects with buildings, subjects with trains, are you chasing light or shadows?

  • Find the perfect subject. See if you can perfect eye contact, or something interesting they may do.

  • Most importantly have fun and stay safe!

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