Complete Tips For Street Photography, What To Do When Confronted, and the Best Camera Setting

Hi! How are you doing? I hope everything is going pretty well on your side.

Street photography is getting more common in the photography world. While it is quite simple, yet there are some things that you want to keep in mind when you hunt for street photos. I would like to share you some tips to help you shoot great street photos. Well, here they are!

1. Crowd is your golden nugget

The key to successful street photography is people. This means that the more people you encounter in an area, the better your chances are to witness a moment and capture it. For that reason, it would be very helpful if you know your area well.

By knowing your area, you know where the crowds are, and you will know where to go to take street photos. I don’t say that you have to solely rely on the crowded places that you know already. In fact, sometimes having a walk to random places may be very rewarding too.

One thing for you to keep in mind is that hunting photos in a big area will overwhelm you. My suggestion is to focus on a small section of street or a corner for each trip. Either way, to start with, I would just plan my roaming route before I go out to take photos. This will make my quest be more focused.

If you are new to an area, I would suggest you visit the community center to gather information on where the people gather. Another alternative is just go and roam around the neighborhood and see what the town has to offer.

2. Risk Versus Reward

Street photography is quite different compared to other types of photography. In street photography, in case you haven’t read my previous article, all moments are captured as it is, spontaneously. Whatever you in the frame is what is really happening.

You may be encountering some ‘golden’ moments for street photography such as gang fights, drug dealer transactions, wars, etc. I would say those things are super rare for street photography. Yet are they worth it? You can make those kind of photos in a studio with the help of professional models anyway.

Another moment which you may want to think twice before capturing it is like a mother changing her baby’s diaper. It’s like, do you really want to capture the moment?

Keep in mind that street photography is also an art which has to be done for aesthetic reason.

3. Permission, Law and copyright

Do you really need permission from the people you are taking photos of? I don’t really tell people for their permission. Asking permission it is not necessary as long as you are not using the photos commercially.

If you are selling your photos, let’s say on microstock libraries, then you have to get the model release from the person you are taking picture of.

Using the photos for commercial purpose also requires you to get rid of any logo, brand, and symbols. Those things are copyrighted, and you’d better erase them or otherwise you have to pay royalty for using them commercially.

For a private collection or putting them on your private blog, you don’t need to sign any release. The photos are the manifestation of your own creative intelligence. You have a full right on your creation.

4. What to do when confronted

At some point you will be in a situation where the person you take picture of gets upset. The best response you can give is to smile. You are not doing any fraud to anyone. If he demands to know what you are doing, just explain humbly. You are an artist or a photographer, and tell the person that the photos are for your own collection.

Most of the times it’s enough to just look at anything but the person. If the person calls the police, then just explain that what you are doing is an art or street photography project. As street photography tells what happens in society as it is, you also have to explain what you are doing as it is. Just be honest and in most cases you will be just fine.

5. How to not attract people’s attention

Preventing is always better than curing. Here are some tips to minimize the possibility to get noticed by your street photography objects.

• Wear dark clothes. Bright colors attract attention easily.

• Keep your elbows in when taking the photos. Spreading your body makes you stand out.

• Have the camera set. Get the photos quickly.

• Keep the camera strip high, closer to your head. It minimizes the movement required to have the camera ready.

• Get use with the camera. Always carry your camera everywhere, as if it was your second skin.

6. Find interesting street photography subjects

Street photography is about telling a story on what is happening in the society through your camera. You can get an interesting story with a proper preparation. There are some ways to get a good story for your image.

You can find an interesting people and follow them, expecting they will encounter an interesting moment for you to capture. For example, during the autumn season last year I was planning to shoot a picture of people enjoying the foliage. So I waited in a spot where I often saw people walk by, which has autumn foliage. After a while a couple of young people walked by and I took the picture. Easy.

You can spend a good amount of time before coming to a street photography theme. For me, I don’t like to spend too much time on planning, instead I would plan a simple subject and then hunt for the photos immediately.

7. Get your camera ready all the time

You don’t want to lose the moment. Some moments in street photography may not happen again forever. I have to admit that I have missed some precious moments because I did not bring my camera when I needed it the most.

The bad news is that moments may occur unpredictably. The good news is that as you become more experienced in street photography, your instinct is getting better.

Train yourself to be at the right place at the right time.

8. Good time for street photography

Here is the thing. You would need high shutter speed to capture a precious quick moment, right? Then you have to have much light to compensate. I personally, many other photographers may argue differently, prefer more light quantity than quality.

With a bright light, you can maximize your shutter speed to freeze your frame completely.

Having said that, my favorite time for street photography is morning and evening, especially during the summer time when the sunlight is abundant.

9. Where to shoot from

This one could be tricky. The point here is that you want to capture the whole scene, but you don’t want to look so suspicious.

I would suggest you to stand close to your object. The first reason is that you will be able to capture the scene perfectly. Secondly, standing too far will make you look suspicious.

When you encounter a great moment, take plenty shots at it. You don’t want to leave too early and regret later.

10. Camera Setting

What is the best camera setting for street photography? I would say first is maximizing your shutter speed. But remember to compensate with the light. If the light is less then you may want to reduce your shutter speed.

Most of the time I use shallow focus 1/5 so that I could emphasize the object I want to focus on. But when I want to capture the whole scene, then I go with smaller focus 1/22 or lower.

There is no exact textbook correct camera setting for street photography. It is an art. If you are happy with the photos, then you are doing perfectly fine.

11. Color or Black/White?

Again, street photography is all about your own preference. Nothing is better than the other.

Black/white, for my opinion, is good to give a retro impression. If you have big desire on classical-type photos, then black/white may be suitable for you.

If you feel that the color has the power to tell the story of your street photography image, then colored photos are the best.

12. Take action now!

Street photography totally requires you to go out and take photos. There is no other way to be a great street photographer other than going through a decent hours of practice.

I hope these tips are useful for you. Have fun taking photos!

10 Tips To Tell You How To Start A Photography Business By Finding Your Photography Niche

Sooner or later, most photography enthusiast give some thought to “how to start a photography business.” Unfortunately, there are a ‘few‘ challenges that “doom” us to failure. One of the biggest challenges that we bring is our failure to make the distinctions between our love of photography (re: our enjoyment and passion for photography) and the business of photography (understanding buying and spending habits of people that are photography customers).

For example, many of us think that because our photography work is “so good,” that we shouldn’t have that much trouble selling it. We, sometimes, mistakenly, think that great art and photography “sells itself.” Big mistake! Great photography does not sell itself. In the business world, nothing sells itself – nothing! Knowing this is critical to start a photography business.

Our failure to make the distinction between our passion for photography and our desire to be in the photo business is also evident in how we try to tell people about what we do. For example, photography customers don’t care what type of equipment we use. They don’t care how many mega-pixels we have, nor how much our equipment cost us, nor what brand of camera we use. Photography customers (current and potential) want to know that we can, and will, produce the highest quality photography work for them.

Think about it, the mechanics that repair our cars don’t tell us what tools that they use. The chefs in the restaurants that we patronize don’t tell us what type of pots, pans or stoves that they use. In those businesses, it is already established what customers want and how best to give it to them. In other words, other businesses do a better job of understanding their ‘niche.’ In order to start a photography business that is consistently successful and growing, we must be clear on what niche we are offering and how to sell the benefits of our niche to the customers.

Another mistake that we budding photography business owners repeat is failing to “specialize” (know our photography niche) in what we do. As photography enthusiasts, we enjoy shooting any and everything. As photographers, that’s just fine. However, when we start a photography business, we, mistakenly, try to be ‘all things to all people’ – we take every photography job offered us.

One of the obvious problems with this approach is our failure to recognize how it drastically cheapens the value of what we do as skilled photographers, in the eyes of the customers. Mistakenly, we want our customers (current and potential) to know that we can photograph anything – after all, we’re very versatile photographers! What the customers actually see is that we’re not “versatile photographers,” we’re just someone with a camera that’s available to take pictures when they call us. Serious photography customers (re: those that can afford to spend regularly) want to do business with specialists – photographers that know their photography niche.

Successful wedding photographers are clear on this, as an example of my point. Their ‘primary’ customer (usually the bride) has dreamed about her wedding day for most of her life. She isn’t looking for a vesatile photographer. She wants a “wedding photographer” that can make her ‘look’ as good, happy and beautiful as she has been in all of her lifelong dreams of ‘her day’ – her wedding day. There’s a special skill to this type of photography service. In fact, this niche has more to do with well developed ‘people skills,’ in my opinion. Successful wedding photographers that are clear on these nuances are more successful in business.

Do your research.

  • Inventory Your Photo Collection – Take a look at your photo collections. Determine what it is that you 1.) shoot the most; 2.) shoot consistently well; and 3.) enjoy shooting. Identify your and categorize the photos into various niches, i.e. portraits, sports, glamor, pets, children, landscape, etc.
  • Research The Photography Markets – Do internet searches using the words “photography niche.” Also, use the type of niche that you think your photos fit. For example, “event photography niche,” “wedding photography niche,” etc. Also, a good source to help identify some of the photo markets is “The Photographer’s Market.” This is a book that is published annually and claims to provide photo buying contacts and information. Online searches are the most useful, in my opinion. Books by author and photographer, Dan Heller are good places to get a better understanding of the vast world of photography, without all the ‘artsy-hype,’ in my opinion. He also has a very informative website – DanHeller.com
  • Identify ‘Real’ Markets – Find out what type of photography (of your specialties) your customers currently are purchasing. What type of photography is selling? At some point, you’ll have to ‘balance’ the realities of the different niches. There can be some factors that aren’t consistent across all photography niches. For example, some niches require longer “workflow” (workflow is the post production process of taking photos) periods and tasks than others. Higher quality portraits normally require photo editing – which is time-consuming. Event photography requires the processing, packaging and delivering (presenting) of photos. True story: I went through my large photo collections and found that I had a very large number of outstandingly beautiful flowers. I can’t begin to tell you my disappointment when I found out that there is ‘virtually’ no market of photos of flowers – it seems that everybody has them already, everybody! Lesson learned – identify ‘real’ markets.

Ten Tips To Assist You To Identify Your Niche

  1. Identify specialties that fit your style:
  2. Determine if you have the necessary equipment for the niche
  3. Do you have identifiable and specific skills in this niche area – can you articulate them?
  4. Who is your target audience
  5. What type of photography do they purchase the most
  6. Where are they taking their photography business currently – your competition
  7. What will be different about your services
  8. Does where you live support your preferable niche
  9. Is your niche ‘stock photography’ or ‘assignment photography’ – do you know the difference
  10. What is the future potential and tendencies of your niche

Fortunately, the internet makes this information just a few clicks away. The information isn’t difficult to find and learn. Knowing your niche increases your confidence tremendously. Truly know your niche – and your photography business will follow!

7 Great Benefits Of Using Photo Effects

A lot of people don’t agree with the use of photo effects, but even the most renowned specialists know that there are photo-shots that absolutely need such effects. The idea is not to completely change the photo-shot, but to add an element, remove an element or highlight one in order to transform a very good photo into a perfect one. Here are 7 reasons why the use of photo effects is a good idea.

1. By using some cool photo effects, the photo will be enhanced.

Every photograph lover can be described as being a perfectionist. You can’t be a photograph lover if you are not a perfectionist, so there always is a small detail that doesn’t look good in your vision and that you want to change. In order to do this, you have dozens and dozens of effects to your photos, so start using them. They’ll help you be proud of your work by helping you enhance the photos you so much love.

2. The errors can be concealed

It is a pity to waste an excellent photo-shot just because it has a small error. Those who choose to add effects to photos can remove the error and can make the photo look much better than it did at the beginning. By concealing the area in the photo that doesn’t look too good, you can cheat the eye and impress people with a photo that is as real as possible, but that had a small error that was preventing the image from being perfect.

3. The cool photo effects can emphasize the subject

Every photo has a subject and there are numerous cases in which that photo would look much better with a more highlighted focusing on that subject. By using certain photo effects, the focusing can easily be obtained. The subject won’t be ruined and it won’t be changed, so there are no reasons for ignoring the effects.

4. The photo effects can give a photo-shot a special touch

When you take photos out of pure passion and when you want to use them in order to transmit a message to the world, you need that special touch that will impress the viewer. This is the reason why using the photo effects is such a good idea: they can help you obtain that unique and original touch that will surely impress the people who will see your image.

5. The photo will look professional

By adding, removing or highlighting certain elements, the photo will look professional. All those who make a living by taking image use special photo effects.

6. A simple photo is transformed into an art work

The role of image effects is to transform simple photos into art works. A splendid shoot can be transformed into a unique work of art and the photographer can gain a lot of popularity thanks to this.

7. The effects offer added beauty

A simple photo has the power to tell a story, but the story can be more interesting, exciting or dramatic thanks to the effects used.