Home Photography Ideas An Introduction to the Idea of Street Photography

An Introduction to the Idea of Street Photography

7 min read
street photography tips by kittykaht

A style of photography that is becoming very popular among photographers is is the idea of street photography.

In this article we’re going to introduce you to this type of photography and help you understand what it’s all about.

street photography ideas by iuserby
Photo by iuserby

What is Street Photography?

Street photography is known as the most honest and true to life style of photography.

It consists of taking candid photos of people in public places and situations. Your goal as a street photographer is to take photos of people without them knowing you are there.

Many photographers refer to this idea of photography as like you’re holding a mirror up to society.  That’s because it captures a single human moment that showcases an experience that most people are very familiar with but often pass by without thinking twice about.

Can Be Captured in a Variety of Locations

The term street photography is just a general term for this style of photography and does not necessarily have to be captured on a street. Many successful photographers have taken amazing photos in public settings such as clubs, parks, malls, office buildings, schools, and more. Any place people gather is a good candidate for shooting this style of photography.

Its All About Getting Close

One of the most intriguing aspects of street photography photos is the fact that viewers feel as if they are part of the scene, not a distant observer. This can only be achieved when the camera is about a foot or two away from the main subject being photographed.

Its necessary to use a wide angle lens to make the viewer feel like they are part of the scene. Its recommended that you only use a lens between 12mm to a 50mm and no more. Any longer of a focal length will cause your photos to take on a more voyeuristic feel; removing the viewer from the scene.

It’s also necessary that you get close to your subjects. This means getting even closer into people’s personal space than you may be used to, like a foot to a few feet away. That’s what makes public settings the best places for street photography. People have a better tolerance with others violating their  personal space in crowded settings.

street photography 2
Photos by davehodg and jjantak

The Key To Successful Street Photography Photos

The most effective ideas for street photography photos are ones that tell a story within a single frame. It’s not enough to just capture a particular moment in time.

While you are out taking photos always be on the lookout for interesting situations that are occurring around you. A good tip is to analyze situations that most people take for granted or just simply pass by. These can be very powerful images to capture. Always be on the lookout for irony in situations.

A few examples of street photography situations include:

  • A person sitting on a bench waiting for a bus and in the background another bus is passing by.
  • The view of a person’s perspective as they are walking down a crowded stairs leading to a subway.
  • An up close and personal photo of a police officer stopping traffic and letting pedestrians walk by.
  • A man making sandwiches at a deli during a busy lunch time.
  • A protestor yelling and raising their fist during a protest.
  • A street performer entertaining a crowd of tourists.

We hope this article helped you to better understand the popular style of street photography. Leave a comment below telling us what you think about this type of photography or your own experiences shooting it!


  1. […] To capture strong street shots you need to pay attention to principles such as composition, perspective, balance, etc. In a recent post, we talked shared an Introduction to Street Photography. […]

  2. […] focuses on the history of street photography, you can also find related topics on our site here: Introduction to Street Photography, Street Photography Techniques and Tips and Night Street Photography Tips (coming […]

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