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Street Photography Tips for Beginners

Posted in Photography By marcy

Originally, only photographers own professional cameras. But since those cameras are now made for public use, many people are trying their hands at this  new hobby. More and more people are drawn into photography, most specifically street photography.

Street Photography
Image Credit: Peter Kuralt

When you take pictures of public places, people, and events in their most natural state, you are doing street photography. Yes there is a term for whatever it is that you are doing. However, there are a few things you need to remember when practicing this craft.

1. Get used to taking pictures of strangers. If you are a shy person, you might want to practice some more. You can first practice on your friends and family members. Capture them at their most natural state to get candid shots.

For example, you might find it interesting to get good angles of your ill-tempered brother who is studying.  When you are able to handle this well, you can go to public places and take pictures of strangers.  But if you want, you can skip this step and go to public places immediately.

2. Be prepared. Bring extra batteries, flash cards, and lenses and put them inside a small carrying case. You won’t know when you will be able to get a good shot. Others get lucky and find great shot early in the morning while there are others who won’t even get single great shot even if the day is about to end.

3. Be inconspicuous as much as possible. Keep a low profile so people will not be too conscious of your presence. Dress just like them so you won’t stand out from the crowd.  Let them be comfortable of you. In no time, they will no longer mind you taking photos of them.

4. Go to events. People are less concerned about being models of a photo when they are having too much fun.

5. Be sensitive to other people’s feelings. Some people just don’t like it when they are subjects of your photo. If you see that they don’t like it, just go away and find other subjects. Learn to draw a line between what is okay and what is inappropriate.

Street Photography 1
Image Credit: pixim

6. Bring someone who can look after you while you do your thing. Not everyone wants their picture to be taken.  Some people think that you are invading their privacy so expect attacks. This is harsh but true. If you have someone to watch over you, you are free to think creatively without having to worry about yourself getting mobbed.

7. Study about the technical details. Don’t just keep shooting. In order to master your craft, you  have to study and research about techniques and the right tools to use. For example, you should use a lens with a focal length of 35mm. You should set a fast exposure too to avoid blurs if you are taking pictures of fast moving objects such as cars or moving people. Higher ISO should be set if you are shooting in a low light. Details like these will help you improve greatly. Here are few Outdoor Lighting and Contrast tips.

8.Try different things. You can shot from from different angles and viewpoints. Don’t be afraid to experiment so you can finally get a great picture.  Just make sure that you and your camera are safe when you are trying out every possible angle or options.

The best advice I can give you is to bring your camera with you at all times. You will never know when an inspirations comes to you.

If that time comes, it will be easy for you to take a shot as your camera is just near. But if your camera is too big for daily use, you might want to buy a point and shoot camera with high megapixels.  This way, you won’t miss an opportunity.

The tips in this post are pretty easy and I am very sure that you can manage it. keep practicing. Who knows? This might even be a career for you in the future. Good luck!

23 comments
vidisha
vidisha

Good tips, much useful. I am new owner of Alpha 55 cameras and am looking for camera handlling tips. Pls share more article that you have for alpha cameras. I have checked many sites to read about these tips. Sony India also has some tips on landscape photography and some more tips for beginners, i would like to share here for everybody’s benefit. This was posted on their Alpha gallery http://www.flickr.com/groups/sonyindiaalpha/discuss/72157628711362415/

Keep sharing more information

Neel
Neel

Thankz for these simple but very useful tips...

Satish
Satish

I am not much into photography, but even though i read this awesome article for beginners. We have to study the technical parts also to be good at some thing like a cam.
Nice post man :)

Premdas Kanaran
Premdas Kanaran

Good Work Marcy !! This is the first time I am reading your articles and I must say I am absolutely thrilled to read this. I am a photographic and movie freak myself and these tips definitely gives me a new insight into street photography. I am definitely coming back :-)

marcy
marcy

Thanks Premdas! Greatly appreciated! :)

i2space
i2space

Great idea to share all the tips for a beginner. I had an interest of photography , these things would help me a lot.

marcy
marcy

thank you for your interest. try them out and let me know if they worked for you.

Gagan Chhatwal
Gagan Chhatwal

I thought I will find some real tips for street photography , how to take pic in shadow, how should adjust lens, auto focus, about color combination and mixture but that article disappointed me, yes I know those tips are for beginner but at least it should include some basic tips about photograph though nice efforts I appreciate them following your blog and looking forward for some photography tips :) thanks.

marcy
marcy

Hello Gagan,

Please share us what you know about photography so we can also learn SOMETHING from you.

Mehboob Talukdar
Mehboob Talukdar

Thank you for sharing some of these great tips on photography.
I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.

marcy
marcy

That's a nice way to look at photography Mehboob. Thank you for showing great interest in this craft.

Kira Permunian
Kira Permunian

Good tips you have presented here. I am not a photographer really but I can say if a picture is passionately taken. And whenever I can hand a camera, I can't help it but to take pictures with the best angle I can.

Thanks for sharing.

marcy
marcy

No problem Kira. Do you have your own tips too? Please share it with us so we can learn from you too! :)

Dell T0530
Dell T0530

Thanks for those tips it would help me a lot as a beginner in the field of photography.

Rohan
Rohan

Those are some practical tips as the real fun in photography lies in capturing people in their most natural elements and being armed with a camera always helps

marcy
marcy

Thanks Rohan! glad you liked my tips.

woman
woman

Yes, it is interesting to do. Perhaps these tips will be helpful for me. Thank you.

marcy
marcy

Hi Woman,

Please let me know how my tips turned out on you. Thanks!

Conde
Conde

I love taking a pictures ever, but not in a professional way, I'm wondering what professional photographers camera their using?. Well thank you for this great tips Marcy, Its informative.

marcy
marcy

Hi Conde,
Pick a camera that you are comfortable in. Actually, you don't need to force yourself to use a professional cam. A point and shoot one will do.

Thanks for your appreciation, by the way.