Are you wondering where to shoot street photography? I'll tell you exactly how to find the best spot. But it might not be what you expect, I've been a street photographer for a decade and the best place to shoot is very often overlooked. So let's dig right in:
Where to shoot street photography?
1. The best place is…
Street photography can be done anywhere. So the best place for street photography is wherever you are. I’ve received enough emails about someone complaining they can’t do street photography where they are…when their images would have been 1000% more interesting if they just could see the beauty of what's right in front of them instead. Remember this: familiarity breathes contempt so great images can be right in front of your nose if you simply keep an open mind and heart.
Sure, you might lust over New York street photography, Hong Kong Street photography or Japan Street Photography…but trust me when I tell you (I'm a nomad with my family) everyplace eventually gets boring and the energy of “New” quickly fades away. It's human nature to get used to things and is the reason why it's easy to fall for Gear Acquisition Syndrome, and why every place goes from “WOW!” to “Meh” in a span of weeks.
Stay sharp and keep your heart open. Just look at images you can make around the farm or even at the airport. It's even possible around in the plane or around the house. And just because you are in a “street-genic” place doesn't necessarily mean great street photography. Just look at street photography in India, a lot of it it's great but a lot of it doesn't take full advantage of the location.
2. Harness your home-turf advantage
There's a disadvantage to photographing the streets of famous cities: They've been over-photographed. There's that bridge in London, there's that bridge with the locks in Paris, etc. Not that something creative and interesting can't be done in those locations, but no one is shooting in other places like Turkey or Armenia. It makes your work stand out quickly when you shoot somewhere else than well worn streets.
But that's not all, when you shoot where you are, you can get shots that no other person can get, you have the home-turf advantage. How? You know all the best spots and the little known streets that few travel guides mention. Even better: since you know the streets of where you are in and out…you can make mental flags of where potential shots could be. I've been in many countries and while I look and shoot, feeling that there is a shot, but end up not having it. Why? Because something's missing in my shot, but if I lived in that country I would have come back again and again until I have it.
Just look at the image above. It's missing some action on the right and the left, and unfortunately I needed to leave and could not come back and wait for the shot to happen.
3. Find pockets of photography
In the definition of street photography, we've seen that street photography is another word for “life” photography. So go to your location's population centers, where there's the highest probability of things happening. What is your location's “main street”? Biggest crossroads? Central Business districts? Huge parks? Find where most people are and go there.
4. Go to Special Events
Even if there are no permanent population pockets to photograph, there are usually special events that pop here and there. Consider fairs (a LOT can be made a fairs), fireworks shows, pop-up circuses. A good way to find these are on Facebook and search for “Events near me”. A list of events will show up for you to go to. Fairs are probably your best bet for street photography.
Where to shoot street photography? Wherever you are. It's all about making the most with what you have. If you have population centers, fairs, go shoot that…but if you don't it's all about keeping your eyes and heart open to the images that you have in front of you, and not what is in your mind.
Since you are reading this, your are interested in street photography, right? Then check out my step-by-step street photography course, it teaches a framework that makes stunning photos, guaranteed. If you want inspiration, check out Inspired Eye magazine (includes monthly video training). I also have a street photography for beginners book perfect if you are just starting. Be yourself, stay focused and keep on shooting.