Street photography is one of the most entertaining and interesting ways to view the world we live in. It’s usually filled with everyday events that we take for granted. However, when we see other people carrying them out, it often makes for fascinating viewing. However, not everybody has the makeup to be a successful street photographer.
To be good at this type of photography you need to be quite confident and not the nervous type. This is because you’re going to be taking shots of people you don’t know and you never know what type of reaction you’re going to get when taking their photographs. Many street photographers often get around this by taking their shots from a distance.
However, if you’d like to build your confidence as a street photographer there are a few things you can try out. If you go to an area that’s very popular and a lot of others there have cameras then you won’t stick out like a sore thumb and most people won’t even notice you.
For example, if you head to Niagara Falls with a camera you’ll blend in with everybody else as about 80 per cent of visitors there are taking photos. This will allow you to take shots of just about anybody you like and any happening. Nobody will really notice you’re taking their photo.
If you’re above the street there’s a good chance that nobody will notice you since you’ll be above their eye level. Most people walk around with their eyes focused on what’s in front of them not what’s above them. It can be a good way to practice until you’re confident enough to take the shots from street level.
When people are busy doing something they probably won’t spot you taking their photos. They’re usually too engrossed in what they’re doing to notice or care about somebody with a camera, unless they’re doing something illegal of course.
If you’re wandering the streets with a huge camera and lens then you’re going to draw attention to yourself. If you use a small camera then you have a better chance of going undetected. Mobile phone cameras might even come in handy for this.
You can also choose an interesting location and focus in on it and wait until somebody walks by it and into your frame. They will just assume you’re taking a shot of the physical subject and are not likely to realize you’re capturing their image. Also, you can often get some pretty interesting shots that tell stories without even capturing a person’s face. You can sometimes tell great stories by getting theirphoto from behind and by the back of their heads.
If you want to get more creative you can always ask a friend to accompany you. If you see an interesting person you’d like to capture but are too shy to ask them, then place your friend close to them and make it look like you’re taking a shot of them.
However, the best way to be a good street photographer is just to be confident enough to ask people if you can take their photo. Just be honest and take the shot as quickly as you can. You might be pleasantly surprised and find that most people will be more than happy to oblige you.