Street Photography Tips


Street Photography is all about developing your photojournalistic eye. So what is this photojournalistic eye? Well, they are quite easy to learn really and it's not rocket science. Anyone can learn it and you can master this too if you paid attention to these few tips.


A good photojournalist must have a keen eye for observing and anticipating movement within your environment. When you sit alone in a park, what is it that you see? By identifying possible subjects for your camera takes a keen sense of observation. You have to train your eye to constantly search for subjects,

This picture would not be very interesting if it just showed the food instead of having the street vendor present in the picture. The background restaurant element is a bonus. Captured in Seoul, South Korea. 

Story Telling

If you had a picture of a city street, you have to ask yourself if the picture on its own is able to tell a story. Similarly, I feel that having a human element in your picture enhances the picture as it gives "life". An empty stall with just the food would be extremely boring even though some may find the spread tantalising.

Stall owner in Seoul manning his food stall

Story telling has always been about pictures of people in different places. By having human subjects, you add that bit more into the picture to give it depth.

To do this successfully, you need to have patience as nothing happens immediately. People in street photography are not posed models. They come and go as they please and your ability to anticipate movement is what makes it work.

Sometimes, the timing may not be perfect but with patience, you can be rewarded. The picture on the right is a good example. If I had shot this frame earlier, the woman would not be in the frame and what you have is an empty storefront. By waiting for a human subject to enter the frame, the story telling bit has been fulfilled.

This is probably the most misunderstood element in street photography. How you divide the frame to place your subject is very important. If the picture doesn't look right, it is because the subjects are out of sync.  Subjects in the picture can be delineated by lines and segmented by color, space and texture. Some photographers have even used "mass" as way to define an object's place in a frame. To me, it's just the same difference.

Stall owner falls asleep on a hot summer's day in Macau