6 Unconventional Tips for Better Street Photography

Delhi Barber

Holy Man in Pushkar

Almost everyday, I get emails from devoted readers asking how I get such great photos of people on the street when I travel. That is a lie. I never get such emails.

But if I did, here are the tips that I would give anyone looking to take better candid photos of people.

Tips for Better Street Photos

1. Drink Alcohol

Can of beer in SymiDrinking lowers your inhibitions so you won’t be as nervous taking photos of people. It is easier to ask someone if you can have their photo if you are drunk, and in general, people respond better to foreigners if they are wasted.

2. Stalk Follow Around Photogenic People

Delhi Barber

Getting a shave with a creepy tourist (me) taking a photo

When photographing wildlife, it is important to learn the habits of animals so that you can see them in their natural habitat hunting, on the move, etc. The same goes with humans.

Do you know a particularly attractive young female with great fashion? Follow her, at a distance of course, to learn her habits. Use a telephoto lens so as not to interrupt her normal routine. As you get more comfortable, use a 50mm lens and get closer. It she notices you following her around everyday, just let her know that you are working on your street photography and I am sure she won’t mind.

3. Photograph Schools

A van for photographing people kidnapper van

A van perfect for street photography.

Children are very photogenic. A great way to get candid photos of kids is to hang around playgrounds, especially at recess or after school, and shoot photos. Again, you want candid photos, so use a long lens and blend in. For me, a white van without windows works best for blending in and getting great shots

4. Wear Camo or Black clothes

The best way to blend in, other than the white windowless van, is to wear camo or all black. This will help you get genuine photos of people.

5. Use AV mode

Canon DSLR AV Mode

Photo courtesy of Photoplusmag.com

When shooting people on the street, I find the aperture value (AV Mode) on the camera to be the most useful. Use a low setting, like f/1.8, and it will not only blur the background and enhance your subject, but also it will allow you to use a fast shutter speed which will make it easier to get a clear photo.

6. Carry a gun

This has nothing to do with photography, but as the American Tea Party and FOX News always say, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Presumably, if you are out taking street photos, following around kids in a white van, drinking alcohol, using AV mode and you have a gun, you are a good guy. This gun will protect you from the bad people of the world.

To recap: My Six Steps To Better Street Photos

  1. Drink Alcohol – it breaks down inhibitions
  2. Follow around photogenic people – learn their habits, get them in their natural environment
  3. Photograph schools – use a white van as a blind
  4. Wear Camo or black clothing – to blend in
  5. Use AV mode – to blur background and get a crisp image
  6. Carry a gun – because it is your 2nd amendment right

____________________

Which one of these tips will be most useful for you?

Do you have any other tips for street photography?

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31 Comments on “6 Unconventional Tips for Better Street Photography

  1. I think you just put yourself on NSA’s list. And, yer gonna hafta get used to traveling by boat as yer now on the “No Fly” list too! πŸ™‚

  2. Great post! I love your tips. I believe the one I use the most is…drink alcohol. I’m crap at taking pictures though. I leave my husband to that. Perhaps if I use your tips though…

  3. Put me down for numbers 1 and 6 for sure! πŸ™‚

    But that should be a *windowless* van in number 3 to be a proper perverted serial killer mobile.

  4. Pingback: What Kind of Poser are You? | Planet Bell

  5. If Im honest, I dont find this guide very useful. Alcohol is a drug – it may well improve your socialising skills, however, it also reduces your analytical mind that you might need for a good shot. The AV-setting also depends on the style you are following. 1.8f has also the disadvantage that you need very good focusing and a target that doesnt move too quickly… And finally, having a gun can also escalate things in certain situations…

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