Street Photography: Where is the best place to start?
So you want to get into Street Photography, but you’re unsure where to actually start? Simple! Where is your nearest metropolis? London? Paris? Tokyo? New York? Montreal? That’s where you need to go! If you are new to street photography, then I recommend visiting a large city where there is lots of activity. With so many people around, not only will you be spoilt for choice for people to photograph, but it will be easier for you to “blend in” and take your observational street photos with less chance of being noticed by your subject.
On the flip side, small towns and villages can offer wonderful street photo opportunities. Unlike the big city, you may “stand out” a little more as there are less people to blend in with. The locals in the area may also take an interest in a strange photographer lurking around, however you can use to your advantage and hopefully encourage a few people to take part in some street portraits.
My advice when working in a small localised area, is to be as enthusiastic and polite as you can. It really doesn’t hurt to smile, talk to people, and engage in a little conversation to show an interest in the local area.
“It’s the big cities where I love street photography.”
Big cities like London, where I love to take my camera, are just filled with “lots going on”. You can join the waves of people and wander the streets, and then jump off when you feel like it to wait for a photo opportunity to come to you.
My favourite “London” street photography location is the South Bank. The route that takes you along the Thames river from Westminster, all the way to the Tower Bridge. I remember doing this photowalk twice in one day. Exhausting!
“Big cities also mean lots of cool landmarks and scenery which you can use as dramatic backgrounds to your street photos.”
These landmarks also serve as useful distractions for your potential photo subjects! A really good place to start is at a biggest landmark you can find. With masses of tourists and sightseers all caught up in the excitement, you as a photographer, can move through the “oooh’s” and “aahhhh’s” like a ghost with a camera, talking pictures without being noticed!
In the photo below, I simply sat on the floor with my camera on a small tripod, and waited. Some people give you a “look” as they walked by, some even show enthusiasm and give you a smile. Don’t be afraid to stop, let the shot come to you. Fair enough, this street photo is not a close up with a person as the main subject in the frame, however it does illustrate that big cities can provide dramatic and recognisable backdrops.
Thank you for reading this installment of my Street Photography Blog Series! Please share this page, and leave a comment below!