Street photography is simple in concept, but when put into practice, can be very hard to do well. This style of photography has so many fantastic opportunities that are on offer to anyone that wants them. Here are a few tips and guides that may help in improving the creativity of your street photography.
Firstly, a great suggestion is to have a plan and route mapped out so that you can work in a methodical fashion and make sure that all the top spots that offer the best photographic options are reached. The other option is to freestyle a little more. Many photographers will be of the same mind, and the worst thing is to take pictures that other photographers have already taken. For this reason, maybe take more time, look around and try and find things that are more obscure and that are seen less by other people. These images will stand out more and be different from the rest.
Some people don’t like their pictures being taken. When confronted with this situation, it is best to apologise and smile at them. Explain the situation and probably everything will be ok. Worst case scenario, delete the picture and move on. Most importantly, show respect when it is needed. Some situations and people may not want to have their picture taken. There are always other opportunities, but should you want another option there is shooting from the hip. By holding the camera from your waist and pressing the shoot button. Sometimes the results work out and other times the results are awful, but it is fun, it is creative and you never know what you might get.
When taking pictures of building or in certain places or of famous people, there maybe issues with legal rights. If afterwards these images would be sold on stock photography sites there are also more legal implications. For example, taking pictures in airports is a problem and therefore the consent of the airport maybe required before taking any pictures. Secondly, buildings may require release forms that allow them to be shown and images be sold of them. Its worth being aware of the legal rights and requirements should these be situations you may find yourself in. Be aware of what is allowed and not and this should make the entire process faster and more free flowing.
The equipment that is considered best for street photography is a standard or wide lens. This is of course dependant of what you are looking to take pictures of. For some who maybe interested in more portrait style images, a zoom maybe be of better choice, possibly a 70-200mm. For outside shooting a shutter speed of around 1/125 or 1/250 is recommended. It is also good to have a secure and padded backpack to protect the equipment that is carried. Another possible suggestion for those interested is a GPS unit. Some modern cameras now have this option built in. When in a new city or venturing further out, it tags the images taken with the GPS data, which means you can easily have access to where the picture was taken and return to the same place with less problems and wasting time. It also means that should you later choose to upload your images, these tags will appear on apps such as Google maps with your image marked for others to see.
For street photography to work, it takes practice and a keen and imaginative eye. Finding that image that stands out is hard enough, let alone doing it in the streets and of people that may not necessarily want their pictures taken. It is very important to have your camera on you at all times, setup and ready to go. With any style of photography, it takes time and practice, not only in using your equipment and in the street, but using it faster than in most other styles, as well as also developing a creative style that stands out and resonates with other people. There are options around us everywhere. With street photography, there are no rights and wrongs and it really is up to the photographer. Look for new angles and ways of seeing what is around. Lie down on the floor and shoot from different perspectives. It is amazing what a few feet higher or lower can do. Have fun taking pictures and look for things that summarise the place that is being photographed, that invoke the emotions that may be felt at that time when being in the streets, and that help rediscover the smells, feelings and thoughts that were experienced at that moment in time.