Hey y’all! This week, I’m sharing my experience with ~dabbling~ in street photography.
When I first got my DSLR camera, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to use it for. I initially took lots of pictures around campus, but I found that what I truly loved was taking my camera to a big city and capturing the vibrancy, architecture, and movement of the streets.
Today I’m sharing a few tips that I’ve picked up along the way so that you can capture those perfect shots! I’ve shared all of these photos and more on my photography Instagram, @_hancam_, if you want to follow along!
I am in no way a professional photographer, so some of these probably aren’t going to be the most “scientific” tips per se. Part of street photography is just doing what feels right and always experimenting!
Also, don’t feel like you need to have a fancy camera to take these shots! I follow photographers on Instagram who take beautiful pictures with only their iPhones.
P.S. Bloggers: street photography pictures make excellent featured image background photos 🙂
Street Photography Tip 1: Look Up
I don’t know about you, (but I’m feeling 22?) but I always find myself looking up when walking through a major city. I just love to marvel at the skyscrapers rising up from the ground, and how each one has a unique architecture.
You can photograph a singular building or even a few buildings arranged in a neat skyline.
Always look up inside buildings, too! I love finding unique geometries and patterns in ceilings, like the beautiful mosaic artwork of the Chicago Cultural Center. The second picture I took in a hotel lobby, and I love the way the bottom of the escalators look like stairs on the ceiling.
Street Photography Tip 2: Don’t Be Afraid To Get Down
I also love to experiment with unique angles, especially to make buildings look taller or to frame the architecture in a different way. Sometimes, this means popping a squat for jusssst the right shot.
Obviously, I don’t recommend doing this on a crowded street. But, if there’s no one around on the sidewalk, get down and see what you can find!
I often find that the best, most undisturbed flowers are at the bottom of the bush.
Street Photography Tip 3: Experiment with Long Exposure
Personally, I think the coolest photo effect is a long exposure! To take these shots, I bumped up the shutter speed to 2 seconds. It’s really easy for these photos to come out blurry, so make sure to set your camera down on a flat surface!
Street Photography Tip 4: Always Think About the Frame
Every time I look through the lens of my camera, I think to myself: what am I trying to frame?
Is it the corner of that building? Is it all of these buildings put together? Do I want a lot of empty space in the shot? It’s really easy to turn mundane objects into beautiful pictures if you frame the photo well!
For example, fire escapes are boring. But I jazzed up this photo by framing the brick left of center and leaving the right half of the photo open to the sky. Also, I really like the second picture of the shuttered up windows because of the way the shadow is cast like a triangle in the photo.
Frame frame frame, y’all!
Street Photography Tip 5: You Can Always Edit
Sometimes, it’s the tone of the picture that really captures the essence of the scene. I always like to edit my photos to fit the mood that I’m going for.
I wanted these photos to be a little dark and eerie, so I really brought out the blue tones and turned down the brightness. This picture was taken in a well-lit atrium!
Gabby and I use Lightroom to edit our pictures. However, there are tons of free apps (VSCO is one of our faves) that can help you edit. Take some time to experiment and really find your style!
Gabby recently posted a Lightroom editing tutorial, which you should definitely go check out if you’re interested in learning how to use the program!
So those are my tips for getting started in street photography! I love to just take an afternoon to walk around and see what I can find. It’s fun to see how everything changes with the seasons as well!
Have you done any street photography? Are you more of a portrait or still-life fan? Let me know in the comments! And as always, make sure to follow me on Instagram @_hancam_ to see all of these pictures and more!