22 August 2022

Starting out with Street Photography

Street photography can be one of the most deceptive types of photography. It seems as though it should be easy enough to walk around looking for the ‘perfect street shots’ but it is never quite that simple.

"This is a guest post by Lisa Crisp. Lisa is a freelance writer and mother of two. When not writing on subjects she's passionate about, she likes to take her dogs on long walks." 

Street photography can be one of the most deceptive types of photography. It seems as though it should be easy enough to walk around looking for the ‘perfect street shots’ but it is never quite that simple. People with experience in street photography sometimes even struggle with the feeling of awkwardness when photographing strangers as it can often be viewed as an invasion of privacy; although experience certainly does not eliminate this feeling, it can help a lot with your own confidence and skill in street photography. For someone who has decided to try street photography, there are some useful tips and tricks to try when you are on your first outing, mainly for boosting your confidence and avoiding as much awkwardness as possible.

 Preparing For Your First Street Photography Outing

 If it is your first time trying out street photography you may struggle over what to take and where to go. If you have a range of different cameras and you are considering taking multiple different ones for different shots, stop right there and just pick the most suitable one out of them all. Although sometimes you may end up kicking yourself for not having one of those other cameras or an additional lens, you will also be thankful you aren’t lugging them around with you all day. Research in advance the area you plan to visit for your first photography outing to see whether there are any events taking place that you could visit - events generally mean there will be more people present and more activities taking place, which in turn means more chance for that perfect photograph and less suspicious over having your camera out 

 Trust your instincts, be brave and alert to every possibility and wear sensible shoes – all that pavement pounding will pay off eventually 

 Tips for a Successful First Day Trying Street Photography 

 The level of nerves you experience on your first street photography outing will vary depending on your level of self-confidence. If you find yourself feeling very nervous, you may wish to ask a friend to come on your outing with you. This allows you to have what some may consider a stooge, allowing you to use your friend as your supposed photograph focus when in fact they are just standing near the location or shot you are actually aiming for, taking a lot of the stress of photographing strangers away from you. If you have no friends available or willing to fill this role, try visiting a local tourist attraction as you will not look out of place here with a camera, allowing you to easily get natural photographs of strangers without too many suspicious or accusatory looks. 

 There are a number of options available if you are finding yourself struggling with taking photographs of complete strangers. One of the easiest ways to combat this is to line up a shot that seems perfect in your mind, and to wait for somebody to walk into it. This avoids the awkwardness of raising a camera as somebody walks into the intended area, and usually allows you to get your ideal photograph without a second glance. A second option when struggling with photographing strangers is to capture images from behind your targets. Although these pictures do not contain faces, they can often tell just as much of a story as a shot containing faces and facial expressions could. If close-up facial expressions are not a necessity for your photography style, another option for avoiding awkwardness is to get above street level and take the photographs from there. Most people do not look up as they walk through the streets so it can be the perfect way to get natural street shots and poses without being noticed. This method of street photography does work, but you can often miss some levels of emotion when faces are not clearly included in the final shot, however sometimes a photograph can tell a story perfectly without this. 

 Street photography can be very rewarding, especially when you head home after a day of taking photographs to see that you have multiple shots that capture exactly what you had intended in your mind. Remember, a smile goes a long way if you do get noticed when taking pictures of strangers and sometimes a quick explanation can save you a lot of hassle, and can even get you the perfect shot that you have been imagining. If the thought of street photography appeals to you, put your confidence issues aside and go for it – there are many ways around awkwardness and you are sure to blossom into a brilliant street photographer if you persevere.

 "So if you are a newbie or a seasoned blogger, you sure have stories of how it felt going and shooting on streets the first few times, or even later after that long break you took. Do share your comments"

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