Do you want to become a great street photographer yet feel confused about what it takes?
It’s easy to get cold feet when starting as a street photographer. Shooting great photographs involves interacting with people you don’t know, and it also requires that you be ready to capture unexpected moments.
Yet contrary to what you might think, it’s not that hard to get started with street photography. If you’re ready to start taking great photographs, read on, and we’ll tell you what you need to know.
The Basics of Street Photography
At its essence, street photography is about capturing life in public areas in a way that tells an emotionally-charged story. But regardless of its name, street photography doesn’t have to take place in the street.
Many of the most outstanding street photographers shoot photographs in restaurants, museums, public buildings, and airports. You don’t even need to be in the city to shoot great street photographs. Many of the best street photographs happen in rural areas, such as ranches.
Qualities of a Great Street Photograph
Unfortunately, most street photographs that people shoot are of low quality. Just because you can point your camera and shoot an interesting scene does not mean that you’re a street photographer.
Great street photographers know how to compose images and use lighting conditions to your advantage. They also understand the importance of having a clearly defined subject, and they know how to shoot photographs that make the viewer think about the world in a new way.
Things to Know About Street Photography
It’s not hard to get started with street photography if you keep several important things in mind. Here is what you need to know.
1. Let Yourself Be Uncomfortable
It can be a difficult thing to start as a street photographer. For some people, the idea of capturing strangers is horrifying. Luckily, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
This phobia is why the most crucial thing that beginner street photographers can do is get used to getting out of their comfort zone. If you feel uncomfortable photographing strangers, keep a lookout for people easy to approach. Explain what you are doing and ask if it’s okay to take their photograph.
The worst thing that can happen is that somebody will say no. Yet the best thing that can happen is that you’ll surprise yourself by taking a fantastic photograph.
2. In Terms of Equipment, Less Is More
The best street photography cameras are usually smaller models, so Micro Four Thirds cameras are great for street photography. Since they have smaller sensors than other professional cameras, they are usually more compact. And despite their smaller size, they still take spectacular photos.
Since Micro Four Thirds cameras allow you to change lenses, you’ll have no problem finding the best lens for street photography. It’s a good idea to choose lenses with focal lengths between 35mm and 50mm, and you should also look for ones with a wide aperture to work well in low-light situations.
3. Everybody Loves a Smile
It can be easy to hide behind your lens when shooting photos of people you don’t know. But some of the best shots happen when you’re interacting with your subjects.
It’s unnecessary to strike up a conversation with every person you photograph. All you need to do is smile in most situations, especially if somebody notices that you’re taking their photo.
The chances are that the person will return your smile and continue on their way. But don’t be surprised if the person wants to strike up a conversation. Please explain what you’re doing, and in the rare circumstance that they request not to be photographed, make sure to honor their request.
4. Get Permission When Shooting Children
You might understand why parents might not want their kids to be photographed without permission if you have children. If you sense a picture-perfect moment and you don’t know the child, make sure to get permission from their parents and give them your contact details.
If there are no parents or guardians present, consider obscuring the child’s face somehow. You can do this by photographing them from behind or from a distance. The chances are that the parents will enjoy that you’re taking their photograph and will want to see the results.
Once you know how to do it, shooting children and families can be rewarding street photography that produces excellent results.
5. Have the Right Shooting Settings and Have Your Gear Ready
Before taking photographs, make sure you have the correct settings on your camera. One of the worst feelings a photographer can have is missing a great shot because they didn’t have the proper settings.
If you’re unsure what settings to use, choosing an aperture priority mode and an auto ISO setting is an excellent place to start. These settings will ensure that your camera’s shutter speed is fast enough for people and objects in motion. It’s also good to capture images in RAW format to have more flexibility when editing your images.
6. Simply Do Your Best
If you set out with the goal of capturing an award-winning photograph, you might miss out on taking a great shot. Picture perfect moments happen when you least expect them.
These unexpected moments are why great street photographers allow themselves to be spontaneous, and they have fun with what they’re doing and don’t worry about planning out every last detail of their shots. This reason is why you shouldn’t be afraid of experimenting when you want to get started with photography.
Getting Started With Street Photography Is Easier Than You Might Think
With so many great cameras and accessories available in today’s world, it has never been easier to get started with street photography.
Remember that you don’t need top-of-the-line gear to get started. Though it’s helpful to have great cameras and lenses, the most important thing is that you’re willing to have fun and experiment.
If you’d like to know more about getting started with micro 4:3 photography, please visit m43photography.com regularly.