In the last couple of years I’ve been setting aside more time for street photography. I’ve found it a great tool to explore new exciting locations, hone my photography skills for weddings and even improve my mental health. I go into more detail about these below.

Street photography has taken me to some incredible places with amazing people and remarkable stories. My recent travels have included Cuba and India.

 

Here Are A Few Of My Favourite Street Photography Photos from My Recent Travels

You can click on the photos to enlarge them and enjoy them as a slideshow.

Why Do I Enjoy Street Photography?

I’ve enjoyed many benefits from shooting Street Photography, most of which I can sum up in the following 3 areas.

1) To Better Explore Amazing Places and Peoples

Exploring a new city, country or culture with a camera is a great way to soak in the environment. The camera trains you to really look and notice things you may often have missed. It can also grant you greater access to people. I’ve had countless conversations with strangers on the street and even been invited into people’s homes for coffee, rum and snacks. 

2) To Improve My Photography Skills

The art of street photography has hugely benefited the skills I use at weddings. There’s quite a few similarities between shooting street photography and wedding photography – working in an uncontrolled environment with a range of  different light sources and subjects doing their thing without direction. This has allowed me to further train my eye develop my observation skills.

The main difference and benefit I’ve found with shooting street photography is that it allows me to slow down and build a shot more. As I don’t have the kind of time restrictions we experience on a wedding day I can take more time improving my composition and even experiment with different angles to get the best possible photo. Adam Riley has written a great detailed blog post on this how street photography can benefit your wedding photography skills.

3) To Improve My Mental Health

Over the past year I’ve been paying more attention to my mental health and wellbeing. I’ve found several things I can do to improve my mental health which has brought huge benefits to all areas of my life. Street photography is one of them.

I find street photography allows me to be in the moment and forget about all the other noise going on. I turn off my phone, pay attention to all my senses and just follow what interests me. It could be a patch of light down an alley, a smell, the sound of music or an interesting stranger.

Where My Street Photography Adventures Have Taken Me

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Travel Page Map

What Camera Gear Do I Use On My Street Photography Trips?

For my last few street photography trips (including Cuba and India) the Fuji XT2 has been my work horse. The size of the body and quietness of the shutter help me to be more discrete. I’ve also added a little duck tape to the body, covering up the logos, to add to the amateur look. The Fuji XT2 has also proven sturdy in a range of conditions, including dust, sad and rain.

Lens wise I only use the one – the Fuji 23mm F2 (equivalent to the 35mm for full frame cameras). I picked the F2 over the F1.4 as I’m usually shooting around F11 and the F2 is faster, sharper, lighter and cheaper than the F1.4 lens.

Why do I use the one lens? I’m a big believer in the KISS principle – Keep It Simple Stupid. A good photo is made up of three components – light, composition and moment. The less time I’m thinking about gear choices, the more I can spend on making the best photo possible.

Other bonus of only having one lens has been less gear to carry around and removing the risk of getting dust on the shutter.

You Can Check Out My Latest Street Photography Trips In More Detail On The Blog

6 Street Photography Tips For Photographers

On every trip I’m learning more and more about street photography, different ways to approach it and the benefits it can bring. Based on my experience so far these are my top tips for other photographers.

1) Slow Down

On the street in a new city/country it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Slow down and start focusing on individual stories that interest you. Once you’ve found one stay with it, improve your composition and try different angles. Remember that a photo can always be improved.

2) Get Close

Don’t be afraid to get close. Getting close allows you to clean up your composition and remove elements that may distract from the story and create greater impact. You’ll be surprised how close people let you get. Of course if you receive signals that your subject is uncomfortable with you being there then take a step back.

3) Speak With Locals

Not only can speaking to locals lead to some fascinating conversions but it allows you to better engage with your environment and provides context of what you’re seeing. You may also be invited into peoples homes or place of work which can lead to new photo opportunities.

4) Smile

A smile is surprisingly powerful in making someone feel at ease with your presence. It disarms suspicions and grants you access.

5) Get Lost

Pick a location and then get lost in it. Not having a route to follow gives you the freedom to follow elements of interest. It’s amazing the things you find when you take this approach.

6) Learn From Other Photographers

I can not emphasis enough the benefits that come from learning from other photographers. Be it an informal critique over lunch with the back of your camera or witnessing first hand someone else shooting. It’s especially fascinating to see how others view the same location and the photos they come away with. I’ve found shooting in pairs to be the best approach, so if you’re with a large group maybe split up when out shooting and then regroup for meals.