Its hard to exactly define what is street photography. This article originally by Eric Kim gives some good pointers though.

In it Eric shares some insights and experiences in street photography in terms of what not to do.

Hopefully this will help you get more compelling images when out on the streets!


Tatsuo-Suzuki - Girl - Street Photography

Girl by Tatsuo Suzuki



Don’t shoot standing up

“When you are shooting street photography, crouching allows you to get a more interesting and dynamic angle.”


Don’t shoot street performers or the homeless

“The reason I don’t like shooting street performers and the homeless are because it is rare you will get a compelling or unique image. Not only that, but it is too easy. Street performers have their photo taken all the time, and aren’t challenging to take photos of. The homeless are a bit different—we try to highlight their suffering in order to make an interesting image. I believe it is better to take an extraordinary photo of someone ordinary than take an ordinary photo of someone extraordinary.”




Lines by Hiroki



Don’t spend more time researching gear than shooting photos

“You don’t need a Leica camera to get compelling images. Learn how to get comfortable with your DSLR or point and shoot and capture life through your lens.”



Don’t ask others what they like about your images

“Sure it is nice to have people compliment your images and give you positive feedback and of course. But all of that stuff doesn’t mean much in the end. I have a simple suggestion: when you post a photo and you want helpful/harsh critique, be very open and transparent about it.”




 Girl in the Tube by JPPimenta



Don’t waste time focusing

“Rather than wasting time on manual focusing or autofocus, simply use zone focusing. If you are unfamiliar with the technique, it is setting your camera to a pre-set focusing distance (ie 1 meter or 2 meters) and selecting a high f-stop with a large depth of field (ie f/11 or f/16). If you shoot consistently a certain distance away from your subject, this will ensure that your photo will always be reasonably sharp and in-focus.”


Don’t rush yourself

“If you see an interesting background, beam of light, or potential photo-opportunity, wait for the right person to enter your scene and capture the moment. Good things happen to those who wait.”





 Waiting by Paul Greenwood



Don’t constantly change focal lengths

Less is more. Having more options just makes us frustrated and prevents us from focusing. Although I am a huge advocate for experimenting with different type of street photography styles, focal lengths, gear, and projects—there is a point in which you need some consistency. Having too many cameras and lenses only inhibits your artistic creativity—by stressing you out. Feel free to experiment, but once you find what suits you the best don’t waver too much! Many of the well-known and established photographers shot with mostly one focal length for their entire careers: Henri Cartier Bresson and a 50mm, Bruce Gilden with a 28mm, Josef Koudelka + David Alan Harvey + Alex Webb with a 35mm.”



Don’t shoot without knowing why you shoot

“Whenever you go out on the streets, you should have a reason why you shoot. Whether it be for pleasure, whether it be for documenting humanity, whether it be a personal project, or something that drives you.”



 Untitled by Toni


Don’t be slow when shooting

“If you are slow when shooting on the streets, you will often miss the decisive moment. When you are out on the streets, learn to spot a potential photo-opportunity from a fair distance away, approach your subject, crouch (or not), snap the photo, smile, and go on.”


Don’t upload photos everyday

“Less is more. Quality over quantity.”



The Wrong Way by Mario Mencacci



Source : 10 Things Not To Do As a Street Photographer by Eric Kim