Real street photography strives for a story in a single frame. It’s about capturing strangers as they go about their daily lives. In order to capture the human condition in its least guarded form, it’s often done without the subject’s permission. If this sounds like what you aim for, here are five street photography tips–approved by the pros–to elevate your work.
It’s All About Soul
Expensive gear isn’t going to help one bit if you don’t work on the soul of your images first. This isn’t just composition and light. By soul, I mean the story, and the immediately relatable humanity in a given scene.
Steve McCurry is best known for his National Geographic photojournalism and travel photography, but defines himself as a street photographer at heart. Despite his Photoshop controversy this year, it’s still hard to refute he’s one of the best photographers of humans alive.
Let’s look at one of his most elemental behaviors for street photography; the state of mind he calls being present in the moment. Yes, we have a camera in our hands, but our primary concern is experiencing life on the streets, not on taking hundreds of pictures. We have to be aware of the sights, sounds, and smells around us first.