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5 Street Photography Tips

By Michelle Ecker on October 18, 2016


The New York Institute of Photography is one of the world’s largest photography schools and because we are, we often publish fun and useful photography tips on our photography blog. Please enjoy!

5 Street Photography Tips

Street photography can be a challenging niche to conquer for several reasons. Your subjects are unpredictable, your lighting is inconsistent and the mood can be difficult to capture and relay. In many ways however, these are the elements that make it such an interesting and rewarding field to explore. Getting started, here are 5 things to remember next time you’re looking to capture some candid beauty within your city:

  1. Try not to throw away the usual guidelines of composing a photograph. The rule of thirds, strong diagonals and well-distributed weight are still things that can create a beautiful image, even if it’s a more candid one.
  2. If you can, try to capture some form of action among your subjects. An image of people interacting with one another or with their surrounding environment is always compelling to look at- think a woman opening the door of a cab, a child petting a stranger’s dog, etc.
  3. Facial expressions are another great thing to encapsulate in an image if possible. See a couple on what looks to be a first date? Try to capture the emotion of that unique exchange- nervous laughter or admiring looks, for example.
  4. Consider upping the number of interesting items in your frame rather than focusing on one sole subject. The exciting thing about street photography is that it can give viewers a glimpse into a place they weren’t able to be at a given time. The more you can show them, the more they’ll feel like they were really there as well. Was the aforementioned couple having coffee in the park? Include some kids playing catch in the background in your frame to show more of the full picture.
  5. Another fun way to add intimacy to a street photograph is to get closer to your subjects if you can. This is one of the simplest ways to again, make the viewer feel more involved and engaged with a moment in time for which they weren’t able to be physically present.

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