Part of developing a street photography style is simply getting out and taking photos. My style is playing the “big dumb tourist.” People don’t see me because I look like every other tourist out for a day of sightseeing. Except I don’t really care about the sites. I hunt people and the urban ugly that surrounds us.
I have lots of tips for this and truthfully never thought anyone would be interested until I found Eric Kim’s article, 101 Things I have learned about Street Photography. He’s good and is writing a book on the subject.
In lieu of the popularity of my last post about the “100 Things I Have Learned about Photography,” I decided to make a new list that pertains to street photography specifically. Also if you don’t know, I am currently writing a book titled: “Street Photography 101,” and the excerpts are being posted here. This new list is a homage to the Street Photography 101 book that I am writing.
He covers most of the advice I would give, and much more. I don’t always agree with him, but I don’t think it matters much. For example.
6. Smile often. – A smile is good and it disarms people, but a scowl gets a reaction too. I don’t want to be noticed as a photographer in most cases, so no smile, no scowl works best for me.
12. Crouch when taking your shots, it often makes for more interesting photos. – If only I could crouch and not draw a crowd. If I crouch to shoot, people are likely to ask if “OK”.
25. If a policeman asks you to delete a photo, just delete it. It isn’t worth the hassle (even if your shot is legal). – True, but where is the fun (and story) in that?
29. Limit the number of street photographs you see from the internet. The more you see, the less you will value your own. – Bullshit. The more you see, the more you are inspired.
33. Street photography is best experienced alone. – Only if you are an emoboy, or young and unattached. My opportunities for street photography stem from family activities as often as not.
38. Don’t be afraid of offending people. Most likely you won’t. – What? I’m not afraid to offend people, it happens almost every time I go out. I think this should read, expect to offend people.
61. Your subjects are people, not prey. Huh?
81. Learn how to shoot without using the viewfinder and make it a second-instinct. Thus also… Amen! practice this, it’s great advice.