5 Golden Rules for Better Street Photography

Skillshare has a huge community of photographers and not long ago we launched three photo challenges on Snapwire to help photographers of any level improve their street, portrait, and landscape photography! Skillshare users can take the photo courses below and show us your best work. 

  1. Portrait Photography

  2. Street Photography

  3. Landscape Photography

To help supercharge your creative inspiration, we’ve partnered with Snapwire to give you some tips on how to take amazing street photos.

People watching in famous spots can entertain you for hours on end. The one-of-a-kind culture and unique interactions you can witness during otherwise ordinary events is truly incredible. This spontaneity, the fact that you’re able to capture fleeting moments of truth in real time, is the reason street photography = has caught on like wildfire among digital photographers. Here are 5 tips to help you get those impeccable unplanned shots.

1. Get Closer to Your Subjects

 

You have to admit that sometimes taking photos of people from a distance can seem a bit creepy. While there is certainly a time and place for shots like this, it’s usually better to approach your subjects more directly, allowing you to capture their emotional range. Getting close to your subjects also gives your viewer a more comprehensive look at the details in the image. Maybe it’s the polka dot pattern on their bonnet, or the way their eyes sparkle in the sunlight, or the quizzical expression on their face — these up close details really make the images pop. Just make sure you always ask permission before you take someone's photo.

2. Streets Come Alive at Night

Nighttime in the city is a completely different visual atmosphere than during the daytime. The artificial lighting alone presents some amazing opportunities to take awe-inspiring pictures. Explore crowded areas that might look interesting with car lights whizzing by or photograph some interesting characters that are looking to take advantage of a city’s nightlife.

3. Never Leave Your Camera at Home

Snapwire_blog3.jpg
There is no perfect time frame or “golden hour”.

Street photography is unique in that there is no perfect time frame or "golden hour" like in other types of photography. When thinking about street photography it’s important to understand there’s always something interesting happening and there’s always a prime moment to capture a spontaneous moment. Don't forget your camera at home or you may miss that one perfect shot you are looking for!

4. Get Creative

You don't always have to take someone's portrait or a visually crazy scene to actually make a captivating photo. The bokeh (background blur) of an image can create a really striking composition as long as you have some distinct focal point. The colors of a city can blend together to create an almost paint-like effect.

5. Focus on Architecture

One of the reasons travel is so exciting is because each city is so unique! So make sure to make a point of capturing their individual essences while you’re there. This piece of advice is especially true for older cities in Europe or Asia, as you can create stunning photographic landscapes that transport you to a totally different environment. While people are always fun to photograph, the buildings can bring new life to a city.

----

Snapwire is a photographer-driven community founded on the principles of cooperative equality, respect, and fair distribution of profits. Their contributing photographers receive 50% of a photo purchased in the Snapwire Marketplace and 70% of a photo purchased off an assignment.

To learn more from Snapwire on selling your images online, checkout their Skillshare class with Snapwire contributor Blake Bronstad.