What is street photography?

What’s the first thing that typically comes to mind when thinking about the term street photography? Most likely a candid image of a stranger roaming around the streets of a famous city, such as Venice, Tokyo or New York. But your location doesn’t have to be quite as extravagant as that.  

Street photography simply involves taking candid images in public situations. You don’t have to go there with a subject matter in mind - but it certainly might help. A well set scene or moment could capture the perfect emotional photograph.

Getting started with street photography might seem tricky, but all that’s really required is a great eye for framing and timing. If you’re looking to master the art of street photography, here are 5 things you should consider for your first shot.

1. Urban or industrial landscapes

Landscape photography is a great way to capture the vibe and atmosphere of an area. It’s also an easy place to start if you’re new to street photography. Keep an a eye out for interesting buildings and architecture to capture inside your frame. It’s also good to look out for any juxtapositions, such as flowers on an industrial building or a modern skyscraper contrasting with a Romanesque masterpiece.

2. Take an unobtrusive approach

Don’t worry if your social skills aren’t up to scratch, why not try unobtrusive photography? Unobtrusive street photography most likely makes up the majority of street photographs you have seen. Does the subject look like they are naturally going about their daily business? This is most likely an unobtrusive approach. The subjects don’t usually realise the photograph has even been taken, making it a fantastic way to capture raw emotions and interactions between people.

3. Animals

As the saying goes, a dog is a man’s best friend. Why not add an extra element to your street photography and capture some street critters? Whether it’s a dog, cat or a flock of birds, animals in the street can act just like any human element within your frame. Similarly to photographing people, you'll have to be prepared when photographing animals. Ensure you’ve got the right kit and setup, meaning you’ll always be prepared to capture that perfect moment - wherever you are. Take a look at our range of camera hard cases to help you capture that ‘Kodak moment’.

4. Portraits

Don’t let your fear of approaching people get in the way of great street photography. Once you’ve mastered the art of unobtrusive and landscape photography, it might be time to try your hand at approaching strangers and tackling portrait photography.

Portrait style images mean getting up close and personal with your subjects - but don’t let this put you off. Approach your subject and simply ask if you could take a few pictures of them. This way, you can direct and style the image how you would like, while still maintaining the feeling of uniqueness that comes with most street photography and its surroundings.

5. Take your street photography inside

Everyone has to eat - so why not take your street photography inside and capture the many establishments that line our streets? Inside coffee shops, bars and restaurants you’ll find some great subjects to photograph - just don’t forget to ask for permission first.

Wherever your street photography takes you, make sure you’ve got the right equipment to keep your camera completely safe. Take a look at our range of protective camera cases.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our photography hub of great street photography - for some tips, tricks and a little more inspiration to help you on your way.