Well Hello, Olivier here, I am the co-creator of Inspired Eye Magazine. I wrote all sorts of articles on Street Photography for the last 2 years and the amount of articles to dig out is quite large. So I created this, the Street Photography guide, an effort for a coherent one stop shop for all things street photography containing these articles plus other relevant ones.
The guide is always a work in progress, meaning it will be frequently updated. In order not to miss an update, put your email above, oh and you will receive a free issue of the mag too!
This page aims to guide you trough the beginning steps of being a street photographer all the way to some practical tips on how to shoot to stop being afraid of people. Let's dig in shall we?
2. Street Photography cameras
The good news about the gear is that, most likely you are all set, unlike say lit up portraiture where you need lightstands and the like, you don't need much besides a camera.
Granted, street Photography can be done with any camera you have, but it is highly preferable if it's smaller and fast and allows for manual focusing (You'll see why later)
You can either go in the neckstrap or handstrap route, but if your camera is heavy it's better to go the handstrap route. You don't need a packpack, a small bag is prefferable, just you pocket is ideal. Thrown in a large memory card and 2-3 batteries and you should be set for the day.
The best camera is the one you love, so find the camera that works best for you and run with it. Careful not to get too caught up on gear, it's not what camera you have, it's what to do with it that counts.
Must read articles:
3. Photography basics
Before diving into Street Photography specifically, you need to learn the basics. Do you absolutely imperatively must? Nopes, you can be fine on auto but the issue is, some great images might be staring you in the face but you won't notice them because you do not know how exposure works. Or miss shots because you don't understand shutter speed well. Whatever the case, you will get the highest benefits if you know how to control your camera.
I Remember a shot I made, when I showed the guy my image the first thing he look was behind him, not understanding how come it looked like it was night while it was still late afternoon. If you don't know how to use your camera yet, don't worry I've got you covered, click below to start.
4. You, Street photography and the law
Ok, so before you head out, you need to set a few things straight
I have no idea where you are located, some cities are simply safer than others. Resolve to stay safe, avoid certain shady neighborhoods and avoid pointing your camera at shady characters. Not everyone is doing legal stuff in the streets, I remember I was shooting a building, and a man came up to me to ask what I was doing….turns out he was selling fakes and sure didn't want his spot discovered.
It's also better not to have too fancy equipment in order not to attract any attention to yourself. Leicas might be fine in Paris or something, but I wouldn't pull it in the suburbs or the like.Trust you gut and intuition and stay safe. Always no where the road ends and do not cross red lights. Sounds silly, but sometimes a photo is so in your mind that you do not pay attention to the red light that just lit up.
Must read articles:
Before you head out, you must research the legalities of street photography in your country. Usually street photography in public places are ok, but again, you must do your own research. For example, as I understand it, where I live (Korea) people have the right to their image, how it is used.
So if I make a shot that they deem dishonors them, I can be in trouble. In France, again, how I understand it, you need the written consent of everyone in a picture to publish it. I'm not a lawyer so this isn't legal advice, do your own research and find out for yourself!
For street photography, there IS such a thing as pre and post 9/11 for western countries. I wanted to make a shot inside a bus station, I saw a shot and simply wanted to make it, but the officer there asked me not to because after the attacks people are edgy about these things.
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