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Street portraiture is one of the most interesting photography styles to date. While it might seem like a daily lottery for creativity, photographers take their chance at capturing their next best shot whenever they leave their house.
We have come up with ten tips on how to take the best street photography portraits. Whether you're a beginner photographer or you want to master the best street portrait approach, these tips on how to take the best street photography portraits will perfect any photographer's skill set.
From finding the approach to finding the best source of creativity, these steps will aid you in capturing your best street photography portraits yet.
Find your background first.
As one of the first steps toward perfecting your street photography portraits, finding your perfect background before anything else will bring ease to your process. Learning how to take the best street photography portraits involves creating your best creative process.
We suggest first finding the background that will best capture your vision. And wait for your potential subject to come along. Obviously, this wouldn't be ideal for a place that barely has walking traffic or popularity, but will work great in any populated area.
Find the best approach method for you.
The best tips on how to take the best street photography portraits will be based on your own personal preferences. That's why we will give you three different approaches you can choose from when approaching a subject.
- Simply ask: Some photographers feel more comfortable with just a sweet and short interaction, asking if they can take their photo.
- Ease into it: Another approach is to ask something unrelated to photography, easing into the conversation with the subject, and then asking them for a photo if they feel that they would be comfortable.
- Not asking at all: We'll get more into this approach below.
Shoot street portraits from waist level.
Often times, street photographers don't want to alter the natural candidness that portraits strive in. That's why they have created an approach to capturing these photos while being discreet. Simply holding your camera for street photography at hip level is an easy way to do this. To create the more creative, yet candid shots, they are done with this approach.
However, it is important to keep your morals in mind. For example, most photographers stray away from photographing young children or those who are ultimately vulnerable.
Always have your camera on you.
One of the best tips for how to take the best street photography portraits is to constantly keep a camera on you. Even if this means something that is easily portable, and maybe not the top quality equipment you have, keeping a camera on you at all times is important to capture the best shots.
You never know when you are going to find your next best opportunity. Each day is filled with potential, and as a photographer, you should be equipped.
Take a different route.
Most street photographers have a preferred location for their best shots, but straying away from your typical route is the best way to find your next favorite spot. Use this as an excuse to explore your town, or the next town over, or the country.
Photographers have an amazing amount of freedom in their career, and taking advantage of this is important to fuel your creativity. Go down that side street you always pass on your way home, take your bike out, walk down to the store instead of driving, you will find opportunities everywhere.
Use color to your advantage.
While you explore your opportunities, it is important to keep in mind the aspect of color. Color is one of the most crucial parts of a great portrait, even if it's not specifically on the subject.
As one of the best steps for how to take the best street photography portraits, having an eye for color is a great way to amp up any shot. As simple as it must sound, going out of your way to find solely a colorful shot can be a challenge, but it's one you should accept.
The key to creativity is to be unique.
Though it is great to be inspired by the plethora of famous street photography portraits, finding your own creativity is crucial for being unique. Don't be on the hunt to recreate a popular shot, but instead create your own style.
Finding a unique moment between a stranger is the thrill of street photography. And doing so will spark your own creative process; find that. It might take days to capture a moment that will strike with you, but finding patience and balance is crucial.
Be prepared to wait.
Expanding on our last tip on how to take the best street photography portraits, being prepared to wait for your perfect shot is all part of the process. Looking at examples of amazing street photography portraits make shooting seem easy.
But the truth is, being patient is essential for a photographer. To capture your best shots, you might have to wait hours to find the best opportunity. However, while you wait, you could even capture some nature photography. Take advantage of your time.
Always be respectful.
Capturing stranger's moments through photography can be touchy, and there will always be circumstances where someone would rather not be photographed. You must go into your job with this in mind, and always be aware of other people's preferences.
Only you know your intentions, and not everyone will understand that being photographed is solely part of your creative process. Always remain respectful, and acknowledge the situation outside of your own creativity.
Get the story behind the portrait.
Last on our list of how to take the best street photography portraits is to not only capture your photo, but also capture the story behind the portrait. Don't be afraid to talk to your subjects, learn all that you can about their path.
This will not only encourage creativity, and better allow you to capture them the correct way, but also allows you to form a connection with your subject. Allow your job to open up a relationship with your art.