Street Photography Quick Tip (1)

Travel Choices
Travel Choices | Munich | 2016

Street Photography Quick Tip 1 – A way to shoot inconspicuously

Motivated by the very positive feedback to the start of my series “Instant Inspiration” (links at the end of this post) I want to launch another regular series – the Street Photography Quick Tips. Some short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets. The first edition of “Street Photography Quick Tips” is about shooting inconspicuously. If you want to find out how, continue reading after the jump….

Sometimes it is difficult to shoot someone in an inconspicuous way. If you want to take a candid street portrait and you fear objection or that the atmosphere of the image changes once the subject is aware of being photographed, try this approach:

Line up in the general direction of your subject, raise the camera and shoot something behind or above him/her. Absolutely avoid eye contact, best look through the viewfinder of your camera. Bring the camera down, pretending to check the image you just took on the LCD back screen of your camera, your finger still on the shutter, still avoiding any eye contact with your subject. Instead of checking the image you just have taken above or behind your subject, compose your shot with your subject through the LCD back screen of our camera and shoot the “real” picture.  Do not (!) check the photograph you’ve just taken, instead raise the camera again and “redo” the first shot behind or above the subject. Repeat as needed. And  don’t blush 😉

This is a proven method I often employ and typically fare quite well with. Take your cam, go out and practice. And have fun!

Related Posts:

Street Photography Quick Tip (2)

Instant Inspiration (I) – Get Down Low

Instant Inspiration (2) – Motion Blur

Instant Inspiration (3) – Silhouettes

Instant Inspiration (4) – Juxtaposition

46 thoughts on “Street Photography Quick Tip (1)

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  1. This is a lovely tip! However, when taking pictures of absolute strangers on the streets, I always have a question nagging me. Are we or are we not supposed to get their permission before posting these images/adding them to the portfolio? Is it a breach of personal space or is it acceptable in the photography community?

    1. Thanks so much for visiting and sharing your thoughts. Regarding your question, there is no definite answer to that. Whether you are required to obtain permission to shoot and publish street portraits depends very much on local legislation. While in the US you can pretty much shoot and publish everything (as long as done on public grounds), the privacy laws in the EU are much stricter. Generally I shoot my street photography in a respectful way, walk away when people signal they don’t want to have their picture taken and talk to them about my blogging when I intend to publish the image. Hope that helps. Marcus

  2. A photograph can be so powerful. It can capture and freeze a moment in time. I particularly like the photo with the businessman and the woman diver….such a great shot. Beautiful work. Keep snapping those pics.

  3. Thanks for the tips, very useful indeed, looking forward to implement them in my own photographic experiences… Reblogged to oscarcardozo.wordpress.com

  4. Great tip! I used to take the picture of people pretending to take a picture of something above or behind them, but that meant sometimes having to compromise with the framing…. this is a much better way! Thank you 🙂

  5. Great tips and I love to shoot these kind of shots myself. It records life as it is without being posed. Also love the black and white and believe it always adds more drama to a picture

  6. Excellent tip…..even when shooting from the hip as I mostly do I never make eye contact…..it really helps avoid any conflicts with people as they can never be sure you’ve actually taken the photograph.

  7. These are great and very useful tips to shoot inconspicuously! And I found what I did wrong shooting something interesting on the streets; I all the time checked a picture on the screen after taking it:)

    The decisive moment in your picture is perfect!

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