Street Photography – What to Look for When Out on the Streets?

Welcome back to our second article on street photography! Last Monday we promised you we would take a more in-depth look at street photography, and that time has come! Today we’re going to talk about what to look for when out on the streets to serve as inspiration.

So, you’ve got your camera with you and you’re out on the street, but you can’t aimlessly walk around holding your camera until you see something impressive and worth shooting. Or can you? Well, if you’re just starting out in the street photography field, then I’m afraid you are going to do a bit of wandering about until you start to see the street with new eyes. Because basically, that’s what you need to learn to do. You’re no longer a simple walker of the streets, you’re an observer and one needs to learn how to observe.

Put your most comfortable shoes and clothes on and walk the streets! Take a seat somewhere where there are a lot of people and start observing. People watching can really be an interesting thing and you can end up getting lost in it, which is a wonderful thing.

Almost all street photographers are talking about the decisive moment, a term coined by one of the earliest street photographers in the world, Henry Cartier-Bresson. That decisive moment is the moment when you know that what you’re seeing needs to be captured on camera. It’s when everything just comes together to create a close to perfect moment; it’s about timing! There may be many decisive moments when you’re out on the streets and that’s OK. Take out your camera and snap pictures every time you feel you’re having one of those moments. You’ll find out later if the moment gave you a good picture or not.

street photography ed peters

Ed Peters

The decisive moment usually comes from facial expressions, gestures, movement and action, so make sure you snap more pictures so that you have where to choose from.

The capture of emotion is mainly what drives the photographer to become a street photographer. Isn’t this what photography does best? Show us who we really are?

Strong emotion will give you the best photographs, but strong emotion is really hard to come by and harder to capture. Do you really have what it takes to go to a man who is crying on the street and take his picture? Can you do it? You’ll have to, if you want to be a street photographer!

Another fun and great tool for capturing street photography and creating amazing shots is juxtaposition. This refers to contrasting elements in your frame. Think about a man carrying a yellow umbrella in a crowd of people with black umbrellas. This is a perfect example of juxtaposition.

street photography Maria Serban-Temisan

Maria Serban-Temisan

Take the above photograph and see how much more powerful this image is thanks to the red background the soldier happened to walk by. It singles out the soldier, it makes him the star of the shot.

If you’re looking for using juxtaposition in your photographs, then you should start off by searching for an interesting background. Billboards and building walls make great places to start. What you could also do is juxtapose emotions. Go to a playground and capture the only crying child among the sea of laughing children. You get the idea!

Not all street photography needs to focus on emotions! You could find interesting shapes and shadows and play with them until you get something interesting and worth shooting. You need a bit of a trained eye to get the perfect angle, but practice will get you there!

street photography christophe agou

Christophe Agou

Another great tip for doing street photography is to focus on details. This will increase the mystery and will offer a clean and fresh view of objects and body parts. Sometimes we forget to look in people’s eyes or look at their hands and a photograph of those bits and pieces can really shake us up.

Also, don’t just look at the people when out on the streets! Look to the ground and see what you can find there. Again, use common objects to achieve uncommon photographs. Take them out of context, juxtapose them, do close-ups, play with them and with the camera until you get something good.

Do you have any more tips and tricks for getting out there on the streets and taking the perfect street photograph? Share them with us in the comment section below.

A Little YouTube Inspiration For Photographers

Every once in a while, its nice to take a break and be inspired by something outside of your comfort zone. What are others doing in the world of photography? How can they motivate you to reach and grow and stretch beyond what you are currently doing with your own photography?

I recently ran across a few YouTube videos that provide inspiration to us photographers. Take a look and see what you think.

The Only Thing That Limits Us Is Our Imagination

How do you interpret the world? What is realistic … and what isn’t?

What if you could take different pieces of reality and put them together? What story would they tell?

Take a look at this video and see how quickly it turns your perspective around.

Artwork is truly in the mind of the beholder. And Erik’s tips to combine photographs can really make you think not just about combining multiple images into one, but also how you will tell stories with multiple images.

  • Photos combined should have the same perspective
  • Photos combined should have the same type of light
  • Make it impossible to distinguish where one image starts and the other ends.

Ultimately, in order to get just what you want, it takes planning. What are you going to try next?

What You Can Learn About Marketing From Steve Jobs

Last night I ate a quick dinner and ran out the door. It was my first night of a new meditation class, and I was excited to get there. In our house, dinner means “no technology”, so we hadn’t yet heard the news. But that all changed two minutes after I jumped in the car. It was everywhere. The world was now missing a visionary and a genius.

Whether you love Apple or not, there is no denying Steve Jobs was a true genius. He saw way into the future, and had the ability to create great products that people didn’t just want, they obsessed over. They were passionate about. It was almost at a cult like status.

Yep, in many ways we were passionate from afar. We bought computers way before they were cool. We were one of the first photographers to design a website. And we progressed into PC because, well, that’s what we did. Then we bought another computer. And another. And software. And more software. And somewhere along the way, we really wanted to switch to Apple. But with multiple computers at any given time – 7 was our highest of working computers that we actually used, and the amount of software it took to run them, it would have been more than an expensive venture for us to switch. So we jumped into Apple products with everything else, starting with iPods. Today I absolutely love my iPad, and you’d never get it away from me. [Read more…]

5 Videos To Inspire Your Photography (and one bonus)

Inside the B&H Conveyor System

You’ve heard of the infamous B&H conveyor system set up in the Manhattan B&H store, but have you ever seen it? Watch this quick video to see what the merchandise sees as it makes its way through the store.

Inside B&H conveyor system… from Lense on Vimeo.

Photo Shoot With iPad and Eye-Fi

Want to know how you can use your iPad for a better shoot? Watch this as the BYU photo crew shoots a poster for the BYU Women’s Gymnastics team.

A New Way To Light Your Food

Are you a foodie? Foodie blogs are turning up everywhere. But if you want your photos to turn out fabulous, you might need a bit more than your iPhone. Check out this for a tip on how to make your food pictures pop.

18 Years of Polaroid’s

Not a video, but definitely something worth checking out. For nearly two decades, Jamie Livingston took a Polaroid every day, including through his own journey with cancer. The series ended on the day of his death. The story is now being told in an exhibit, and you can view them online.

The GoPro Camera

With the advancement of technology, you can now take a camera anywere. There are amazing videos on YouTube showcasing what you can do with you GoPro – here’s The Ski Move.

The Artic Light

An amazing look at the Artic, when the sunrise and sunset are connected. Not only is this video an inspiration, you have to read the story of how it was created as well.

The Arctic Light from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

18 Easy Ways To Fine Tune Your Photography Business

Once you get your photography business up and running, and a few clients start coming through your doors, the business side becomes easier. As you long as you provide great customer service, and market in the same way over and over again, the business seems to run itself.

While this is great and allows you to focus in on what you love – photographing – it can also be harmful to the future of your business. Business “happens” at that point instead of evolves based on what you love. And if you end up working with clients and project you don’t like, you can slowly see the fun drain from your life.

That’s one of the best reasons to own your own business. Instead of letting this happen, take a step back once in awhile and reevaluate your business. Every business needs a bit of maintenance and fine-tuning along the way to keep things running smoothly, and to keep the passion in what you do.

Here are 18 ways you can quickly fine-tune your business.

1. Raise your rates to match your experience. The more experience you have, the more you can charge. Don’t be afraid to raise your rates, especially your hourly and ala carte pricing.

2. Evaluate your packages. If you love or hate parts of your current packages, change them. Make sure your packages give you what you want in sales, and keep the customers happy by providing what they request the most.

3. Focus on a niche. If you’ve started out a generalist, what do you love the most? Find ways to bring in more clients doing what you love. If you focus on it, it will come a lot easier.

4. Look at your financial reports. Whether you choose to keep the books yourself with a program like Wave Accounting, or hire an accountant and bookkeeper, spend some time every few weeks looking at your financial reports. Look at your total sales, accounts receivables, and how much cash you have on hand. The only way to grow in the future is to know where you are coming from.

5. Find a mentor or two. One of our greatest assets when we first started our wedding business was finding several other wedding photographers to mentor with. We met monthly to talk about the business, marketing, strategies, and anything else that came up. We could never have done all we did without the mentorship and friendship that came from that community. [Read more…]

Its A Stupid Philosophy

So you’re trying to grow a business. What are you thinking?

Didn’t you know:

It’s not smart to take risks…
Its stupid.

How many times have you heard that? That’s why this video resonated with me. Because if you move away from the norm, if you try something new or different, its viewed as risky. And risky is just plain stupid.

So the more you hear it, the more you believe it, and the less likely you are to move forward and try something new.

Don’t do it. Jump at the new opportunity. Don’t give it 10% or 20%. Give it 110%.

You can do it if you just, well, do it!

Only stupid can be truly brilliant