Is Your Street Photography as Good as it Should Be?
Photographing people is entirely different from capturing the natural beauty of landscapes. Your subjects are live, they have emotions and movement, and a good photograph captures all of that flawlessly.
Most photographers take to the streets to get up close and personal with random people from behind the lens. Trust us, this isn’t as easy as it seems, but it isn’t something that can’t be mastered either.
Street photography may take you years to master, but for now, there might be a handful of things you could try to make your street photography images turn out to be powerful and captivating for everyone who takes a look at them.
Be the Storyteller
Think of yourself as the director of a movie. The next thing you need to figure out is who can play the perfect characters for your script, what setting will work best for your scene, and how you want the characters to be interacting with each other. Say, you want to capture young love – just look around you for a young couple in love. Your picture could be about a young man saving his woman from the falling raindrops with an open umbrella or a young woman wiping off the cappuccino foam whiskers from her man’s upper lip. Small acts that can convey the best emotions!
Fishing is a technique most street photographers use almost every day to capture stunning images. All you need to do is find the perfect backdrop for your image. It could be a graffiti wall in the downtown or the glamorously lit Louvre pyramid – position it well in your frame. Once you do that, now you wait for your subject to walk into the frame so that you can capture them just in time.
Work In Some Juxtaposition
Street photography is an extremely versatile genre of photography. It has the potential to capture the intact originality and beauty of everyday real life. You can capture irony, humor, pain, and even the ever-so-intriguing juxtaposition that presents a stark contrast between your subject and its surroundings. There are so many ways you can accomplish that – think two friends; one tall, the other short; one black, the other white; one big the other thin – just look for and capture the contradictions in everything.
Just Point and Shoot
While social norms tell you to greet and seek permission from anyone you wish to photograph, often you don’t have the time for that before the moment gets lost in time. You can surely leave the greetings and formalities for later. Don’t think too much, don’t feel bad; just pick your camera up, point, focus, and shoot! There will be plenty of time to exchange pleasantries with your subject after you’ve captured the image.
Take a Break from the People
Obviously, when you’re out photographing the streets, you don’t always want to capture just people. Sometimes, the urban landscapes are far more interesting that the people around them. Give in to that urge to photographs lines and patterns instead of faces and emotions. Look for archaic buildings, eccentric architecture, cultural tattoos, patterns and textures that can take your pictures to the next level.
Take this bag of tricks and get clicking on the streets. If nothing else, you will get so much better at photographing people in their most uninhibited form.
Street photography is the perfect chance for you to grow as a photographer. Yes, there will be people who judge you or think of you as a creep photographing random people – but you don’t know any of them personally, and you’re probably never going to meet them again, so don’t pay heed. Just do your thing!
What is your biggest struggle with street photography?