Pro photographer Denise Silva share her tips for high impact street photography.
Learn how to approach people, which lenses to use,
what makes an interesting street photo and more.
*Please scroll to the bottom of the post for more images from our guest.*
Tips for Better Street Photography
with Denise Silva
“Everywhere you travel there is an opportunity to capture images of people.”
Two Techniques for Street Photography
No engagement with your subject.
Long lens (100-200 / 70-200)
Allows you to sit back and see things happening further away from you.
Able to capture that person in their “real” environment without interaction that might change the moment.
- Find a place with good light. Then find a place to sit, hang out, and wait for an interesting subject.
- Blend in and be sneaky. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Sit down on a bench and become part of the scene. Shoot (or pretend to shoot) other things around you until the subject you want to shoot is no longer paying attention to you. When you blend in, people tend not to notice you (or your big camera) making it easier to capture moments anonymously.
- Public parks and festivals are a great (safe) place to capture images of children playing.
- Be patient. Let the moment happen.
- Shoot from the hip in close quarters.
- Use your phone camera while wearing earbuds/headphones – just be sure to turn off the flash and the sound to stay anonymous!
Seek permission from your subject to take their portrait.
Shorter / Portrait lens.
- Find something to talk about – their eyes, their outfit, whatever drew you to that person and inspired you to want to take their picture.
- Be honest. Tell them why you want their picture or share their story.
- Do it with dignity. Make eye contact and really listen. Show them you care. Nobody wants to look unappealing or be taken advantage of.
- Be present, polite, and patient.
- Seek permission for close ups. Take them, then wait for the subject to go about their activities. You already have their permission – now you can take a more candid image.
- Share the image with your subject. Show them on the spot, hand them your business card, and/or ask for their email address. Be sure to follow through!
- Language doesn’t have to be a barrier. A gesture with your camera and a smile is well understood in any culture.
- You will get told NO. Be gracious and respectful. Don’t take it personally.
“For every person that says ‘no’, there are hundreds that will say ‘yes’.”
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