Learn the Basics of Street Photography in Under 9 Minutes

iStock 157280931 image

When people think about street photography, they likely think of two things: first, amazing candid photos of people amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy city, and two, the anxiety-inducing task of photographing strangers, some of whom might not want their picture taken.

It’s certainly a risk vs. reward scenario!

In some cases, you can get shots like the one seen above, with subjects that are fully cooperative. In other cases, you might be confronted - not necessarily in a nice way either - by someone that simply does not want their likeness in your images.

Either way, street photography can be an extremely gratifying and exciting genre. But like with anything, getting started is usually the hardest part.

But, no worries! Matt Widgery knows what it takes to be a successful street photographer. In the video below, he offers up 10 prime tips to help you get started and find success as well.

Here’s a rundown of Matt’s tips:

  • Use a fast shutter speed (i.e. 1/250 seconds or faster), so you can freeze movement and avoid camera shake.

  • Use a moderate aperture (between f/8 and f/16), so you have a good depth of field without sacrificing sharpness.

  • Use zone focusing to speed up the time between pressing the shutter and the shutter actually being fired.

  • Be friendly! If you smile and say thank you, people are much more likely to be okay with you photographing them.

  • Use a wide lens. It forces you to get into the scene and closer to your subjects, and also looks a lot less weird than if you were to photograph strangers from afar with a long telephoto lens.

  • Use whatever camera you have already. There’s no need to go buy a new one!

  • Carry one camera and one lens. Taking all your gear will only make you move more slowly (and draw lots of attention to yourself too!).

  • Not all street photography has to be candid. If you find someone that is willing to pose for a portrait, go for it!

  • Check out the street photography work of other artists to find inspiration.

  • Shoot every day! Practice makes perfect, so the more you’re out there taking photos, the better you will become at street photography.

That’s it! Ten easy tips to get you into a good street photography workflow. Check out Matt’s video above for more in-depth explanations of each, then put what you’ve learned to the test by hitting the streets!

We Recommend