Street photography is all about being in the right place at the right time. You are creating a portrait of a local community, a city or a whole country. You have a chance to document a part of history or to send a powerful message over social media with just one shot. So don’t waist your time. Get out there and start shooting. Here is a list of five things you should have in mind before you take your camera:
Capture the decisive moment!
Henri Cartier Bresson, the father of street photography, came up with the term decisive moment. But how can we say what is and what isn’t a decisive moment?
We can’t, because it’s personal and it just happens. After a few hours of walking and taking shots at one moment you will get a feeling that time is starting to slow down and that all of the elements of your shot are gravitating towards one another. At that moment you can just take your camera and create a perfect shot. It doesn’t happen often. For some it’s one in 20 shots, for others it’s one in a series of 100. But in the end, when it happens, you know that you are perfectly happy with your photo and that it’s time to rest.
Tell a story!
Your picture should have a personal story, evoke feelings or motivate people to ask a question. It should get people talking about events that took place in your neighborhood. You don’t need a heavenly beach paradise to create a perfect shot. You can get a good picture anywhere.
Engage with your environment
Simply said – if you try to take pictures in a ballroom and you don’t feel like you really belong there it will show on your photos. If you are wondering how to overcome this problem, the answer is easy – be positive! Talk to people. Sit beside them in the park. Play with their dogs. If it sounds a bit awkward imagine what it’s like for them when a stranger walks up to them and takes a shot. If you are feeling unpleasant and your subject is feeling the same the chances of taking a good shot are less likely to happen. For inspiration search for Humans of New York page on Facebook.
Follow the lights
Every holiday season will bring us not only beautifully decorated cities but people who are enjoying themselves. If you follow the Christmas lights you will find a chance to catch some interesting shots, but choose your subjects wisely. When you are in a new place overwhelmed with different sensations remember that street photography is all about capturing a moment in time. So feel the music, get in the holiday spirit and take the shot.
Respect other people’s privacy
The most important thing in street photography is to respect other people’s privacy. Sometimes you can take a picture that can make serious problems to the people who are in the shot. Maybe they shouldn’t be there at that moment or they shouldn’t be seen with that person. It is important to ask for permission if you can’t do that capture them from the back so their faces are not in the image.
In the end it’s important to relax and to try to have good time. Who knows, your perfect shot can be just around the corner.