The Curious Camera Club’s Tips for Street Photography Newbies

Question posted on Instagram story of The Curious Camera Club, asking followers for advice for people new to street photography


Hi! If you’ve found yourself on this page, there’s a good chance that you’re looking for advice about how to get started in the exciting world of street photography. We love how Curious you are!

Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com
Street photography is an awesome genre of photography to get into, and once you find your groove, it’s incredibly addictive. Put simply, street photography is candid photography that documents humanity. That’s it. There are no hard and fast rules – your shots don’t have to be urban, they don’t have to be revolutionary, and they don’t even have to include people. It’s all about capturing the human element of everyday life, unposed and raw, whether that’s by photographing people, small details, architecture… the possibilities are endless!
Photo by Suliman Sallehi on Pexels.com
We ran a survey on @thecuriouscameraclub’s Instagram Story, asking our followers to suggest one piece of advice they wish they had known when they first started out shooting street photography. Below are the results of that survey – be sure to check out the inspirational work of all the lovely Instagrammers who took the time to leave a tip (links direct to each individual’s Instagram page, and open in a new tab):
Question posted on Instagram story of The Curious Camera Club, asking followers for advice for people new to street photography

Shoot as much as possible, and try out everything to find your own style.

@zenostr33t

Start today! And challenge yourself with exercises to improve your skills.

@phlippst

Push yourself out of your comfort zone.

@knniigght

Go out, take photos, have fun.

@malmberg.jpg

Just go out and shoot! Practice until you find your groove.

@jjnewberry

A lot of the advice suggested that the best thing to do was to just get out there and start doing it. Generally, people have a tendency to over-think and over-plan new things. But what’s stopping you from getting outside right now and giving it a go?

Maybe you’re worried that you aren’t going to do it “right”, or that you don’t have a good enough camera… but remember: THERE ARE NO “RULES”:

Best way to learn: forget about gear and reading about street photography – just get out and do it!

@william_lane_photography

Take your time, there’s no rush, just ensure you use your imagination and be creative.

@theurbantake

Shoot what pleases your eye. Don’t try to be the next Bresson or Winograd. Be the first YOU… There’s very little that hasn’t already been done, but don’t sweat it. Be you.

@drewdriskellphoto

Don’t go out focussing on the results. Just enjoy the street and be open to possibilities.

@simonescarano.street

Do not fear the streets, just enjoy shooting!

@k.icabalesphotography
Photo by Gabe Morales on Pexels.com

So you’ve decided to head out, armed with your choice of camera (be it mirrorless, DSLR, point and shoot or the camera on your smartphone)…

Take a camera with you wherever you go.

@packetsofradge

Walk 20% slower than normal. Take your camera everywhere.

@loumorgs

Always have a camera with you.

@consilliophotog

Always carry a camera.

@alanpring

Always carry a camera. Search for “situations” rather than “scenes”. Look for aspects of yourself.

@simonking_v

Whilst this seems like simple advice, always carrying a camera is the quickest way to build your skills. And the best camera is the one you have on you at the time, so if your only option is to use the camera on your phone, then use it! Always being on the lookout for photo opportunities is the fastest way to improve.

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Strive to get closer.

@slice.of.soul

Smile if someone sees you.

@thisisclive

Listen to music with headphones. Start shooting from a distance, after time, get closer to your subject.

@g4org4

Think about, then shoot, what moves you: expressions, shapes, light, placement, etc.

@ray.bridgewater

Get in the habit of not looking down. Keep your eyes up and don’t stop looking around.

@id.discover

Make sure you wear comfortable shoes!

@the_street_chimp

Keep your camera ready, observe, and anticipate.

@hkhaz
Photo by Md Iftekhar Uddin Emon on Pexels.com

It was really refreshing to see that all the advice given had a similar message – that the best street photography is fuelled by passion and personal taste. We received no technical tips as recommendations at all.

‘Figure to ground’. Contrast your subject with their background!

@roscoe.street

Photograph what you love and whatever catches your eye.

@alastairarthur

Try to shoot as often as you can, change places, read a lot of photo books.

@theshuttercurtain
Photo by Mauru00edcio Mascaro on Pexels.com

Shoot festivals, become part of the action. People are more relaxed to be photographed.

@gidivet

Don’t try to hide. Be obvious about what you are doing, and no one cares.

@hunter_shoots_raw
OR

Be invisible.

@nore.rogers

It’s up to you.

Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

And remember:

One bad photo is an accident. 100 bad photos are a style.

@sicksadworld_

Ask for forgiveness, not permission. Street photography should be candid and charged.

@focus_mitch

Keep learning and trying new things – be confident!

@missyhjb

Keep at it! Most days you’ll come home with nothing but some days bangers.

@the.marvels.of.daily.life
Photo by Jeremy Levin on Pexels.com

Just keep shooting! The more you shoot the more you’ll find your style and interests!

@leighelliottphotography

Sometimes out of 100 shots, only two are good enough. If so, then you’re doing well.

@thesbshot

Respect the street. These are real people, real buildings, real lives – not props.

@f.matagrano

Photo by DSD on Pexels.com

“A camera is a machine that teaches you to see without using a camera” – Dorothea Lange.

“Reality is reality but when you look at it really closely it’s kind of fantastic” – Dianne Arbus.

@dcseen

And finally, our personal favourite (for obvious reasons):

Be brave. Be curious.

@jlm_cork
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Thank you to everybody who helped to contribute to this article. If you have any additional advice or tips of your own, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

If you’ve been inspired by the words of wisdom in this article, let us know how your first time shooting street photography went. And regardless of your experience, get involved with all aspects of The Curious Camera Club by connecting with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Stay Curious 🙂

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