Cooperative of Photography

Top 10 Street Photography tips


Photo: Leo Rosas Morin

Street photography can be intimidating but if you’re up for the challenge, be sure to take in a few tips before you head out.

1. Pick the right gear
Pick a smaller lens like a 35mm or 50mm, so you don’t appear to be some kind of stalker. A normal to wide-angle lens also allows you to capture your subject and surrounding context without pointing your camera directly at them.

2. Know the law
Different countries have different laws. Read up on the region you will be shooting to avoid trouble.

3. Don’t be a creep
Leave your flashy kit at home and don’t lurk around suspiciously – if you’re making your subjects uncomfortable you’re not doing it right. Be respectful and when your gut tells you to walk away from a shot, listen to it.

4. Hit AP mode
Aperture priority is made for street photography. Set your f-stop between f/8 and f/16 and don’t be afraid to bump up your ISO.

5. Focus
Manual focus is your friend here as you will need to quickly focus on a subject on a busy street, automatic focus will probably slow you down and get lost.

6. Storytelling
Street photography is all about moments and stories. Try capturing the context and telling the full story.

7. Striking elements
Light and shadows, reflections in puddles or windows are all interesting elements that work well in street photography.

8. Angles
Crouch down, stand on your tippy toes, climb on a ledge – keep mixing it up for the most interesting results.

9. Stealth mode
Some of the best street photographers shoot without using the viewfinder – sometimes the only way to capture natural moments. Practice shooting holding your camera at chest or waist level – this requires a lot of practice and luck, but can yield some gems.  

10. Smile
A smile or a cheeky grin can be very disarming if you are met with a suspicious look.

Did we miss any top tips? Be sure to let us know!

Written by Matthew Rycroft

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