Street Photography Tips – The Basics

  • Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to become comfortable with your camera. Which isn’t to say that you know how to do everything on your camera. But that you are able to capture photos that you are happy with it when it comes to exposure. There are many methods to do that including learning through online videos or taking classes.
  • How you feel when you start a day of shooting street photography is important. Both your physical state and your mental state have an effect on the outcome of your photography.
  • Dressing for success whether for heat or cold as well as rain is of course also important. In the heatwave that we are currently experiencing here in NYC, staying hydrated is so so important. Oh, do wear comfortable footwear as well.
  • Make certain that you have fully charged batteries and preferably a clean memory card with plenty of space. There’s nothing worse than running out of batteries or memory in the middle of shooting.
East Harlem Street Photography
De La Vega, New York City, 20 October 2017
  • Decide on what shooting mode you want to use and take a few test shots. If your camera gives you good results in auto ISO, I suggest it. Typically, Manual mode is not suggested. Whether you decide to shoot Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority or totally Automatic doesn’t matter so long as you are able to obtain good exposures. Choose your setting and forget about it unless the available light changes.
  • I advise using a fixed focal length lens that is wide angle. Using a fixed focal lens means less to think about. Zooming in and out is what you do with your feet when shooting street photography.
  • Try to forget about previewing your photos after taking them unless you have a change of light. In my experience, every time you stop to preview your photos you are missing opportunities for good shots.
  • It’s great to have some ideas of things that you would like to capture. It’s best to be open to what happens to come along. I have a handful of things that I like to capture and when they occur I can take advantage of them.
  • If you can clear your mind and be open to the moment you may find that you are able to see more and take better shots as a result. Street is spontaneous.
  • Composition is a real plus in any form of photography including street. If you’re able to think about composition while shooting that’s great!

I will expand on all of these points in upcoming posts. Happy Street Shooting!

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