Yo, so when I started street photography, I grabbed my camera, my best compositional tricks and went out into the world and started shooting! Yeah, the worst freaking experience of my life. Not only did I stick out like a sore thumb, but I also had way too much equipment, and was scared as s*** the whole time! So I decided that if I can be of help to any other poor unfortunate soul out there here is my shot. No matter what you shoot with DSLR or SmartPhone, Film or Digital these four tips will help you out immediately!
Tip 1: Dress to be Invisible
The best photos that come out of street photography are the ones where the viewer feels like he or she (they) are part of the action. The best way to get candid photos of people on the street is when your subjects have no idea you’re there. Think of it like wildlife photography. You wouldn’t go out into the wild wearing bright clothing and gear that would make a ton of noise right? Didn’t think so. When shooting in the street, wear attire that will help you blend in with your subjects. My advice is always to underdress slightly. The key is not to look like you’re a photographer, feel me?
Tip 2: Use a Wide-angle Prime Lens
Don’t bring a s*** ton of gear. In addition to not looking like a photographer I can almost guarantee you, you will not even use half of the stuff you bring. Grab a camera body and a great wide angle lens, and you have all you need. What’s a wide angle prime lens? Any lens with a set focal length of 50mm or less. I use either my 35mm or 45mm when I am out shooting but, use what makes you comfortable. A wide angle lens is great because it forces you to become a part of the scene by having to get in close. The other benefit of a wide-angle prime lens is, it allows you to be able to include much more of your subject's surroundings enabling you to tell more of the story.
Tip 3: Bring Your Camera Everywhere
And I mean everywhere. I don’t care if you aren’t planning to shoot that day, have your camera on you always. You never know what you will come across on your short walk to the store, laundry mat or where ever. You could be inspired by something super random and have nothing to shoot with. Chase Jarvis said, “the best camera is the one you have with you.” He is absolutely right! You can’t shoot something if you don’t have anything to make photos with. Even if its your damn phone, get the shot! You don’t want to regret missing a great opportunity later.
Tip 4: Smile
Bring your best smile. Everything on the streets revolves attitude. You are going to find yourself interacting with so many different characters out there, how can you do it with a bad attitude? I can guarantee that you are going to feel some type of way taking pictures of strangers and them about getting their picture taken by a stranger. So, that being said get your best smile ready and use it. People are less likely to worry about your intentions when you flash them a genuine smile. Also, don’t be afraid to sit back and chit chat for a while you explain your intentions as well as get to know your subject!
Now let’s get something straight this isn’t a “Do All Field Guide” to make you a professional street photographer, this is just a couple of quick trick to help you get out a shoot today. Check back to my website from time to time to get more tips on how to do this awesome art of street photography. I also want to prepare you for the fact that this style of art might not be for you, and that’s ok. But, I do suggest you get out there and try it. You’d be amazed by the people you meet and the places you discover. I would also love to see some of the photos you take. If you Tweet them to me and I will Retweet them! Put those bad boys on IG, and I will be sure to double tap for you. Also, let me know your experiences with street photography! Catch you later!