Street photography is fun to do. Quite often the purpose of it is to deliver a certain message to the viewers. Usually, that message is from a social character, emphasizing emotion, certain aspects of human life, discrimination and a whole variety of social situations or taboos. It is not all about people, or snapshots of them. You need to be able to capture the moment and deliver the message to the mass.
1. Right focal length
Street photography should represent the human eye, and the 35mm (around 22-24 for crop sensors) field of view is pretty much as the eye sees, thus lenses with that range are often the best choice. 50mm works well too but gives a more artistic feel to it, and you’ll need a bit wider lens when spots are tight.
by Dom Crossley
Don’t frame as you see. Use something different, something that will get the viewer’s attention because it is different, yet smart and delivers the message. If you aren’t sure what I am talking about, look up the work of some of the most famous street photographers so that you see how they work and how they emphasize what needs to be seen.
by John Ragai
3. Social awkwardness.
It will always be awkward when you take a picture of a stranger who doesn’t really know who the heck you are. But if you start a short conversation both of you will feel less uncomfortable. If they ask why, you’ll explain why. If they ask politely for you to delete the image, you should respect that. Even though in public areas you are allowed by law (in most countries) to take pictures of people, being humane and respecting other’s wishes will improve your reputation and avoid bad word spreading out.
by Himanshu Raj
4. Up close and personal.
Mostly, that is the point – getting up close to the subject you are about to photograph, because that is what street photography is all about. Often you don’t really have the time to frame because you are in somebody’s face, so shoot a bit wider, then crop it if necessary. Just don’t go too wide in order not to mess up the field of view.
If you post-process the image properly in order for the image to “pop” you have succeeded. However, don’t overdo the post-processing. Remember that you still need to keep the image realistic. Most street photos are black and white (still following the trend that black and white film had set for street photography a few decades ago). Of course, doing black and white isn’t necessary but it, kind of, feel right. There are plenty of color street photos that are awesome as well. Therefore, post-process the way you think it’s best, just don’t overdo it and keep the focus on the message.
by Jesse Acosta
6. Sharing is caring.
When you are trying to capture a message through street photography, keeping those photos in your computer will not prove the point, nor will help at making changes. Share them with the world, let them see it and feel it. Then you’ll know if you did a good job since the feedback will be inevitable.