Everything about Street Photography

Learn everything there is to know about becoming a street photographer.

Find Inspiration

The Best Street Photography Portfolio Examples of 2022

Whether you already have a street photography website or are building one from scratch, it’s always worthwhile to look at other inspiring portfolios and get ideas for your own. As a best practice, we recommend reviewing your site at least 1-2 times each year to see what content or design might need to be refreshed. We’ve done the hard part for you by collecting artistic street photography portfolio examples that you can click through for inspiration; you’re sure to find some fresh ideas for how you can design your own.

Tazzy Bro Photography

Taz Brotherton is based in Manningtree, Essex UK and specializes in street, commercial, portrait, and wedding photography. His passion is everything photography; he’s driven by creativity and will stop at nothing to get the very best photos for his clients. His decades of experience have resulted in extensive technical abilities that Taz applies during every shoot, allowing his creative ideas to shine.

Drew’s Photos

Drew Blacow is a young photographer based in the Lake District of England. Having only started shooting seriously for just over a year, Drew enjoys experimenting and getting creative to find the best possible image. While figuring out what genres he likes best, he currently specializes in street, motorsport, and landscapes. Drew’s goal is to not only meet client expectations, but surpass them as he continues to grow.

ARTtography

David Bruce Kawchak is a native of Western Pennsylvania and specializes in fine art street, landscape, and real estate photography. He graduated with a degree in Design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and worked for many years as an Exhibit Designer for trade shows. David enjoyed the honor of seeing his work for Fortune 500 companies & celebrities featured in various exhibit trade magazines on multiple occasions. Now he combines his background in design with his love of photography to create beautiful imagery, some of which has also been featured nationwide in magazines and television.

Check Out The Best Street Photography Portfolio Examples of 2022

The Best Street Photography Ideas for Your Next Photoshoot

Are you an aspiring or experienced photographer running dry on street photography ideas? It’s normal for photographers to run into a creative block of ideas for their next photography session from time to time.

Some street photography ideas may work better for you than others. There are many ideas to keep in mind, such as long exposure street photography and flash street photography.

Keep reading for a wide range of street photography ideas that you’ll want to consider trying out.

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Reflections

Shadows and reflections of uniquely shaped objects or people are another excellent idea for long-exposure street photography

Using a timer is also highly recommended so that you don’t have to worry about placing your hands on the camera once the moment comes to take the right shot. Having a timer will also reduce the chances of any blurriness occurring.

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People working

Taking shots of people working is a great way to capture professionalism in motion.

As mentioned, longer focal lengths let you get closer to subjects, which results in more candid shots. 

This idea works very well in crowds. With a long exposure, you’ll also get a nice blur on the background of your images, and this is a helpful way to have your subject stand out from the rest of the crowd. When taking long exposures, a solid and sturdy tripod will help ensure your camera remains steady for the duration of the shots. 

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Take your shots at night

Long-exposure street photography works well at night. Highly lit buildings like cafes and restaurants make for great backdrops when captured with long exposures, and the lights blur into the rest of the photos.

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Black and white shots

Taking black-and-white shots is an excellent way to get the creative juices flowing. Doing so allows you to go back to the basics while focusing more on lighting and your subject.

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Capture cars driving

Hitting the streets at night and capturing cars moving is a great way to capture the energy that motion blur photography can offer. Robert Frank is a Swiss photographer that used motion blur in his photography to create this type of energetic feel.

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Crowds

Another excellent idea for motion blur street photography is to use it when walking through crowds in a street or subway station. More people in the crowd create a feeling of cohesion instead of just people walking separately throughout their day.

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Cyclists

With motion blur street photography, it doesn’t matter how fast a cyclist moves; the motion blur will make them seem like they are moving faster than they really are. This idea emphasizes the cyclist’s motion in the photo instead of the environment around them.

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Street Performers

If you’re wandering the streets looking for subjects to photograph, consider heading to a busy area where street performers typically stick around. Motion blur street photography of someone playing the violin or guitar can instill a lot of emotion in photos, and the blur patterns can add a unique touch.

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Focus on architecture

Using architecture as the focal point of your photos in a busy street is a great way to utilize motion blur street photography. The motion of people and vehicles will be blurred, while the building will remain focused. To really highlight the motion blur, be sure to use a tripod so the buildings remain crisp even with a slightly longer exposure.

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Street art

Street art and graffiti are just as much a part of the cityscape as buildings and signs. They’re also an excellent way to add color and interest to your photos. Look for murals, graffiti tags, neon lettering, or anything else that stands out from the background.

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Car headlights

Neon night street photography should always focus intensely on the light source above anything else. Car headlights are a popular source of light for this type of photography. This type of shot can also be combined with motion blur street photography to create some stunning imagery.

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Nightlife

During the nighttime hours, business districts tend to get a little quieter. At this point, you can head to those areas and take some unique neon night street photography of bars or nightclubs while simultaneously capturing people walking in or out of them. 

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Signs

Neon night street photography is nothing without photos of bright, neon-lit signage. Finding the right sign with the right colors can be a daunting task, and it’s worth mentioning that good editing in post-processing can make these types of photos shine.

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Streets after a rainfall

Neon lights can make a bold statement when they reflect off wet streets after heavy rainfall at night. While it might take patience to get a shot like this, it will undoubtedly land in your portfolio or showreel.

Website Templates for Street Photographers

Our easy-to-use templates can be personalized into thousands of different design iterations uniquely suited for your business.

District

Our new District template features bold fonts and a neutral palette designed to perfectly complement your photos. This template provides an ideal background for any photographer.

Portland

A unique carousel with character to showcase your work in minimalist frames that perfectly present your session types and specialized genres.

Discover

A striking gallery designed for universal, modern, well-arranged photography images.

Canvas

After you perfectly capture life in the camera, show its many angles in this grid view design.

Explorer

Let your images make a big statement in the space of a gorgeous single page site design.

Amore

Romantically tell the story of engagements, weddings, and maternity.

A striking template to capture powerful street photography.

Savannah

A soft color palette and elegant script font are the perfect way to display romantic engagement and wedding photos.

Southwest

The black canvas background sets the stage for high contrast photos while evoking a moody style.

Check Out Website Templates for Street Photographers

Make A Living

How to Become a Professional Street Photographer

Street photography portrays everyday life subjects in their most natural state within a public backdrop. Consequently, it is your job as a street photographer to tell a story and convey emotions through realistic and striking photos. 

So how do you get started in street photography? You’ll find out as you read on.

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Best lens for street photography.

In street photography, where photographers must move rapidly to capture an exciting point of action, the type of lens you use influences the look and quality of your shot in various ways.

Depending on what you want, you can choose between using prime or zoom lenses. While prime lenses provide a natural eye perspective and their compact nature, prime lenses are perfect for photographers who have to capture shots on the go. Prime lenses tend to be lighter, and faster than their zoom counterparts making them a popular choice. Zoom lenses are beneficial when you can’t get near enough, or need to have a variable focal length to achieve the look you want when crafting a narrative. 

Street photographers will often opt for a wide angle of view such as 16mm or 28mm in order to bring more of the scene into the image. That being said having a range of a few focal lengths will let you control how close you need to get to the action of the scene without obstructing what is happening.

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Best street photography camera.

With different cameras on the market today, deciding which camera is best for you can get pretty overwhelming. To narrow your options down, it is best to opt for a portable and lightweight camera for ease of movement.

Mirrorless, DSLR, point and shoot, and film cameras are common street photography camera options. These cameras, each with their own pros (and cons), are game changers for street photographers. It all hinges on your photography style and what you want to achieve with your images. 

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Best camera bag for street photography.

Camera bags are essential for all photographers, regardless of niche. Whether you prefer a backpack, a shoulder sling, or a waist bag, you should always consider your camera’s safety and the ease of carrying the bag. 

While it is okay to look stylish, the best camera bags for street photography are easily accessible, can fit your equipment, are discrete to a degree, and are of great quality in the face of various weather conditions.

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Best film for street photography.

While digital cameras are fantastic, there’s just something about the slow and deliberate process of shooting on film. This is precisely what makes it such a viable street photography choice.

You can use either fast (high ISO/ASA) or slow (low ISO/ASA) films, depending on your shooting style and technique. Fast for capturing a fleeting moment and slow for wide-angle photos. In addition, each film stock has colors and tones, but it is best to stick with one or two to keep your photographs consistent.

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Teach street photography.

Teaching street photography is a lucrative approach to monetizing your expertise. To get started, have a solid foundation of technical knowledge and share images that best reflect your unique perspective; these will help convince people to register for your class. You can accomplish the latter by refining your portfolio and Instagram profile, sharing some tips in video reels and stories, and deciding the field of photography you want to teach.

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Review photography products.

Many photographers rely on product reviews of photography accessories to choose what best suits their needs. You can leverage this by sharing your technical expertise and reviewing popular photography accessories such as cameras, lenses, and flashes on platforms like YouTube and earn money in the process.

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Market with your website.

In the same way that other creators earn money by selling their work on their websites, you can do the same as a street photographer. Building a street photographer website allows you to showcase your work in one place to potential buyers. This feature makes the buying process easy for customers.

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Art exhibitions and galleries.

As a street photographer, displaying your work in nearby galleries or putting it up for art exhibitions is a surefire way to make some cash. To stay up to date, you need to be brimming with creative street photography ideas to produce high-quality images that will undoubtedly grab attention.

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Sell on stock photography sites.

Stock photography sites are an excellent way to make money with your street photographs. With an audience of companies and businesses, you are paid before your photo is used. It helps to submit your photographs to numerous stock photography sites, detailing your work as thoroughly as possible. A few well-known sites include Shutterstock, iStock, and Unsplash.

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Use social media.

Social media is a platform for sharing, but as a street photographer, you can kill two birds with one stone by sharing your work and earning money. Most professional photographers promote and sell their work on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. It’s a win-win!

Learn It All

20 Street Photography Tips Every Beginner Should Know

Most street photographers begin shooting street photographs for fun and slowly accumulate technical knowledge & experiences over time. Although photography shooting isn’t rocket science, the learning curve for street photography can be steep.

To flatten that curve, we have provided 20 street photography tips for beginners.

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Work with what you have.

There are models of high-end DSLR and Mirrorless cameras ranging from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars that are amazing at getting different types of photography jobs done. Unless you’re a very seasoned photographer, a standard camera with the cost of a few hundred is quite sufficient. There’s no need to spend a fortune on a camera for beginners. At this stage, it is more about learning composition and exposure than fancy camera features.

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Getting familiarized with your gear.

Streets are often busy with loads of activities and elements in the surroundings changing at a lightning speed. Taking the time to learn about the camera settings you hold in your hands will equip you with good knowledge and know which camera setting to adjust to get those street shots.

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Street portraits.

Street portraits are good photographs to take as they tell a unique story and convey hidden emotions to which many people can relate. It can help to find an honest way to compliment the subject before taking a shot. You’ll likely discover that people will often respond positively when you are genuinely interested in their appearance.

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Social skills in street photography.

Focus on social skills first if you are not comfortable approaching and interacting with people. Approach people with a mindset to make friends, and don’t be shy to ask people for permission to be in your street photo shots in some situations. People are often flattered when approached to be included in the photos.

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Strike up a conversation.

Think about whom you are approaching before striking up a conversation. Commenting on the weather is often a good icebreaker in any situation to start a conversation with anyone. Pay attention to the vibe of a person or a group, and be respectful of other people’s personal spaces during conversations.

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It’s about you.

Street photographs often serve as mirrors that directly reflect the photographers’ current mood at the moment when they took the shots. Looking deep within and getting to know yourself will unleash creative potentials in your street photographs that you may not have noticed otherwise.

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Observation, observation, observation.

Skilled photographers are well known for their outstanding ability to observe environmental objects and watch how people interact with them. Start with activities that people routinely do. Let your instincts guide you in visualizing what might happen in your frame, and then snap the shots when the right moment comes.

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Let them come to you.

Avoid spending energy and time chasing after objects in search of good street photographs. Instead, only linger around certain busy street spots and let the actions come to you. This way, you’ll always stand ready and have ample time to capture those unexpected but classic moments.

Professional Street Photography Guide

From French photographers experimenting with street photography through painstakingly long exposures to the mass proliferation of street photography through advances in technology, street photography has always been a compelling genre of photography. It focuses on the observation of human behavior in the public sphere. Street photography has had a storied history, made through various technological changes and by captivating photographers and artists. There are many different types of street photography, including fashion, urban, portrait, street art, and fine art street photography, and many techniques involved that make the genre and different street photographers unique. Issues around privacy and consent have also entered the dialogue around street photography. Read on to find out more about the genre, it’s history, types, techniques, and styles.

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Best Street Photography Cameras and Lenses, According to Street Photographers

As a photographer, you’re often tasked with shooting subjects who are knowing participants in your shoot, such as portrait clients or models. When capturing street shots, you’re in a completely different situation. Rather than directing your subject, your job is to sit back and capture the street scenes you come across, often without interfering with them. With many styles of street photography, people won’t even notice you’re shooting. Look through some examples of street photographers on Zenfolio and you’ll notice that their subjects are generally going about their days unaware of the camera pointed their way.

That’s why the camera, lenses, and gear you choose as a street photographer are incredibly important. The right setup will allow you to be completely discrete and unobtrusive, while still capturing high-quality images. Key features to look for when shopping for a street photography camera or lens are speed, silence, and size. The ideal kit will be small enough that you can easily handle it all day and it won’t stand out to people passing by, quiet enough that people won’t hear your shutter every time you take a photo, and fast enough that you can trust your images will come out sharp and clear. Check out our pro-approved list of the best street photography gear out there.

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Street Photography FAQ’s

What is the purpose of street photography?

The purpose of street photography is to convey a moment in public space, often of a person or people interacting with their surroundings. It can function as an observation or even historical and cultural documentation of public life. Depending on who you ask, a street photographer may have a different view, depending.

Why is street photography important?

Street photography is important because it documents people and how they interact with their environment, in many ways similar to photojournalism. It differs slightly based on the intention of the photographer, as street photography is more about curiosity, inquiry and happenstance, whereas photojournalism is likely shooting as a means to an end, premeditated in a way.

How to take street photography?

Look for subjects that interact with their environment when venturing out to the streets in search of perfect frames for your shots. Try framing up your shot and waiting for the subject to walk right into the frame, and shoot at a higher f-stop (aperture) if you want more things in focus.

What is the best lens/focal length for street photography?

The best lens is the type you know the most. As beauty is in the beholders’ eyes, the best lens/focal length will vary from one street photographer to the other. Ask yourself this instead: “what style of street photographs are you shooting?” You can then decide which focal length to use to give you the type of results you want.

How to start street photography?

Start street photography with a mindset of documenting what the urban environment looks like with your interpretations. Go wherever the light is. There are usually lots of spaces to work with wherever the harsh light and shadow meet. Photos with attention to the light and shadow will often produce compelling compositions.

How to take good street photography?

Taking good street photography requires practice. An easy way to get your creative juice flowing is to get into a rhythm, warm up your eyes, and be mindful of how you see the world around you. Seek out street photographers that you like, emulate their styles, and add your unique twists.

What aperture to use for street photography?

There is no correct aperture for street photography 100% of the time. Determining what aperture to use will depend on how blurry you want your backgrounds to be. Many photographers will recommend an aperture of f/5.6 and f/8, but it will depend on the environmental light conditions and the type of photo you want.

Where to take street photography?

One of the advantages of street photography is that you will never run out of objects to shoot in an urban environment. From trains in subway stations, bustling farmers’ markets, and tall buildings springing from the skylines to landmarks of tourist attractions. The options are endless. The weather may be the only limiting factor.

How to pre-focus for street photography?

To pre-focus, switch the camera mode from Auto-Focus to Manual Focus. Use your hand to press the focus ring on the lens and turn slightly to the right & left until the image is in focus. Visualizing a scene and guessing the distance to the subject will help you better pre-focus.

How to carry your camera for street photography?

Street photographers often carry their cameras in small bags or compact backpacks to hold all the shooting gear. For safety, many would use a wrist strap attached to their cameras to prevent dropping accidentally. Some photographers use a neck strap when a wrist strap isn’t available.

How to shoot from the hip in street photography?

To shoot from the hip, you need to hold your camera to your waist level and snap photographs without looking through the viewfinder. Using wider lenses (24mm) with a shutter speed of around 1/500 of a second (or faster, depending on how fast you or the subject are moving) could often give you street photos with fewer blurs.

How to be a better street photographer?

Avoid second-guessing yourself; simply take the photo and ask questions later. There is a reason why your instincts take you there. Always have the camera ready to snap a shot, and don’t delete your less-than-favorite photos right away because you may not realize how great they are until you revisit them months later.

 

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