5 pro tips for a street photography
by Jens Krauer
Jens Krauer is a street and documentary photographer from Zurich. As an official Fujifilm X-Photographer he is on the streets of the world from New York, Instanbul, Paris, Kiev to Honkong in search of the “decisive moment” in the everyday life of different people and cultures.
He regularly gives workshops in different cities and countries. His images have been exhibited at various exhibitions in and outside Switzerland and are featured on various international photography websites.
Street and Documentary Photographer from Zurich
Getting started with street photography: small moments can tell big stories.
Street photography is fascinating because it is always about real life. Small moments can tell big stories and what seemed ordinary and mundane earlier is suddenly the starting point of a visual adventure. Even those who do not exclusively document life on the streets may learn a lot from the approach of street photography.
Street photography as a genre has a long and traditional relationship with reportage and documentary photography. However also people, wedding and travel photographers will find themselves in similar situations where reacting quickly and recognizing the moment in time leads to stronger, more authentic images. Whenever people are involved, the candid moment, the genuine emotion, and the candid image is usually more effective at conveying the emotion than smiling for the camera. Below you will find some tips on how to do this and maybe you will soon capture some personal moments on the street, at your family party or on your next trip.
1. Time is picture
Pictures on the streets happens quickly and cannot be repeated. If you are aware of the importance of the key element of time, you will be more successful taking pictures on the street.
- Don’t let the camera get in your way
- Learn to operate it blindly so that you can devote all your time to observing it.
- Know the strengths and weaknesses of your camera
- Finding is more difficult than photographing
- Be attentive in finding and reading exciting everyday situations
2. The camera is not important
Which camera you use makes no difference to the result. At the end there is always a picture. Either it works or it doesn’t. No one will be able to tell from the image which camera and technique was used to expose it.
- Choose a suitable and efficient tool instead of a lot of equipment.
- Pictures live by emotions, not by technical perfection
- A good picture is a good picture
- Modern mirrorless cameras are more discreet, with more possibilities than DSLR’s
- Even a smartphone can capture a fascinating moments
3. Anticipate instead of react
The important moments last only seconds. Those who think ahead will be more successful photographing on the streets. If you can read your environment and work with what is potentially about to happen, you gain a little bit of control in an environment where we can’t control anything.
- You have a few seconds to decide on composition and content.
- Understand and read your environment to generate creativity.
4. Eliminate times of day
Find a camera setting that makes you independent of settings. You don’t have time for long settings or to change optics.
- No menus or experiments, the camera in your hand is enough.
- The moment is usually already gone
- Flexibility through high ISO, your friend on the street
- Content quality is always more important than technical quality
- The story is the essential basis for a successful street image
5. Expectation brings joy around
Keep your expectations of yourself in mind. Street photography can be a good pastime, but if you want to take good pictures, you will invest a lot of time.
- Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary requires patience and time.
- At first glance exciting, with time an ordinary repetition
- Be aware of what you want to achieve in street photography
- Set personal goals and then be patient
- This will help you to enjoy the process, not just the result.
- Enjoy the journey and not just the arrival
Street photography is also the art of reading your surroundings. While many people move from A to B in everyday life, the street photographer wonders how much time is left to explore everything visually exciting between A and B. Suddenly everything becomes alive and interesting and full of possibilities. This view of the world, the little things that can mean big things, is a big part of the appeal of street photography. In the workshops with Jens Krauer and Amazing Views we learn and deepen these techniques in small groups and also apply them together. Street photography can also enrich your photographic toolbox and give you more flexibility in your approach to photographic opportunities.
Join Jens on one of his street photography workshops and photo tours
Jens shows you the authentic side of famous metropols. You will be actively coached by Jens. Learn how to read the everyday life around you, discover exciting motifs and tell great photographic stories.