Facebook Pixel 6 Ways to Improve Your Street Photography

6 Ways to Improve Your Street Photography

Street photography is an exciting genre of photography that interests many people. Although it has many meanings, in its simplest form, it is candid photography of life and people. Street photography encapsulates everyday life, not just in roadways, as the name suggests but within our surroundings.

It can be demanding to capture good pictures that tell the viewer about the daily moments we encounter. Here are six tips to help you improve your street photography.

Street photography 01 - graffiti artist working

#1 – Walk around

Have you ever felt uncomfortable at the thought of photographing random people in public places?

My first tip is to just walk around and get comfortable with your surroundings. Look for interesting things to photograph in the everyday life that encompasses you. Once you have taken some pictures, move on to another location and capture a few more images of another subject that pleases you.

Street photography 02 - old lady in Peru in traditional attie

I saw this elderly lady walking through an old town while out taking photos during my travels and thought she would make an interesting photo.

#2 – Shoot in crowded places

With life at the core of street photography, it makes perfect sense to capture pictures of people amongst crowds going about their everyday lives.

Capturing life around us in different situations can be a challenging undertaking.

Street photography 03 - 2 ladies walking past street art

You may feel uncomfortable at the thought of taking photos of people in busy areas. However, it can be very rewarding to get out of your comfort zone and photograph in crowded places. From a busy marketplace to photographing the general public attending a sporting event, these are just some examples of where you can capture street style photos in crowded areas.

Next time you go on holiday or visit your local neighborhood, visit the park to practice your street photography.

Street photography - Asian men playing a board game

#3 – Photograph people on the streets

Street photography as a subject can take many forms from scenes depicting human nature to interesting moments in everyday locations. To enhance your street photography images, try and capture scenes that evoke different emotive responses such as happiness or humor, for example.

Street photography 05 - street dancers

While on a city break, I came across an interesting scene where I captured these guys enjoying dancing to music.

#4 – Consider color

Street photography is very popular as black and white images because the contrast can emphasize light, shadow, and form. It can also reduce the elements of a busy scene down to its most vital shapes and narrative. Although black and white pictures can look great, I encourage you to shoot in color.

Color can be a great visual element to consider and it has the advantage of adding another layer of narrative.

Color shows the world as it truly is and is a more honest reflection of how we see the world. Anything from radiant buildings to transport or street lighting can provide an element of luminosity that may help to elevate your photos. Street art and graffiti is another aspect that could provide some vibrancy to your street photography.

Street photography 06 - graffit artists working

#5 – Shoot spontaneously

Street photography is all about spontaneity. It is at the opposite end of the spectrum to say landscape photography where the approach to capturing images is pre-planned and everything related to the shot can be set up in advance.

Shooting spontaneously to photograph an intriguing moment can happen at any time from the minute you leave your house to getting your morning coffee. This cannot be taught and is entirely an intuitive and instinctive process. Practice is the way to develop this skill.

Allow yourself to shoot freely in order to make interesting pictures of the world around you and your everyday life.

Street photography 07

#6 – Shoot an event

Lastly, local events are great places to try your hand at street photography. This could be a sports match, a local event with some interesting activities or even an annual festival, where you can capture compelling shots of the participants.

Festivals provide great subjects for street photography as you have the opportunity to capture pictures of street parades, performers in action and candid portraits of interesting characters on location. Find out if an event is happening near you, find some engaging subjects to photograph and put these tips to the test.

Street photography 08

Conclusion

It’s now time for you to go out and practice your street photography skills by photographing a person on the street or a local event near you. What tips and images do you have to share with us?

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Jeremy Flint

Jeremy Flint is a UK based award winning travel and landscape photographer, known for documenting images of beautiful destinations, cultures and communities from around the world. He recently won the Association of Photographers Discovery Award 2017 and the Grand Prize in the 2016 National Geographic Traveller and F11 Your Vision competitions. His pictures are represented by 4Corners images and have been featured in National Geographic Traveller, Outdoor Photography, Digital SLR Photography and national newspapers.