What makes a great street photographer?
By Maddie - 3 min read
We asked the EyeEm Community to share the traits of those who have mastered the craft.
Street photography is perhaps one of the most interesting and varied genres of photography. From high fashion on the streets of Paris to mundane mornings in NYC, street photographers capture the essence, feel and heartbeat of a city and its people.
To better understand what makes a great street photographer, we asked several members of the EyeEm Community to share some traits and characteristics of those who have mastered the craft.
“Go places. It’s crucial to go to the right place at the right time. The magic will emerge from the scene, the light, the atmosphere, the timing and your ability to take a proper shot in sometimes stressful situations. If you never leave your comfort zone you will never capture anything except your own daily life.”
“A street photographer must love people and the world. You can’t see anything if you don’t have empathy.”
“To me, the most important characteristic is having a sharp eye and being aware of the environment around you. This means looking out for, not just colors, shapes, lights, shadows and so on, but observing people and how they appear and act as well. Knowing the environment will help in preparing for that moment.”
“Shoot before you ask. If you like candid street pics, then don’t ask people to take their photograph. Just shoot it! And if they get angry, talk to them and show some examples of your work.”
“Mingle with people. It’s unpredictable, surprising and incredibly rewarding. They give you important or insignificant, unique or quotidian, cruel or warm moments in time. Think about people as creators.”
“Zero expectations. If you’re doing street photography, you learn quickly to not have any expectations when you go out. Life is happening around you – unplanned life. If you start the day looking for certain shots, you will miss out on many great shots. And that’s disappointing. Expect nothing, and end up finding everything!”
“Being able to compose before you lift up the camera – Street photography is a very time-critical form of photography at times. One second the moment’s there, the next second, it might be gone. There’s a time gap that exists as we lift the camera to our eye when we see a moment. If you’re able to compose during that time gap, you’ll increase your chances of capturing the moment.”
“Release the trigger and take the picture. Often, if you are too shy or unsure you’ll miss the shot.”
Thanks for sharing, guys!
Header photo by @silvision