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23 tips to help take your street photography to the next level

Street photography might seem like a fairly straightforward genre to dive into. Grab a camera, head out to your favorite location, and start shooting the scenes and people around you. Right? Technically, yes. But when it comes down to it, there are plenty of nuances that help make or break your street photography.

To help make the most of your street photography endeavors, Cooperative of Photography, or COOPH, has shared “23 Ninja Tips For Your Next Photo Walk.”

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Coming in at just over four minutes, the video covers a wide range of tips and tutorials on how to improve your street photography. In it, the COOPH team follows street photographer Thomas Leuthard as he walks the streets of Salzburg, Austria, capturing the busy world around him.

Some of the tips come across as no-brainers that make you say, “duh!” But in between the more obvious tips, there are a few clever ones that oftentimes get left behind in the hustle and bustle of capturing the moment.

Summarizing his thoughts on street photography, Leuthard has this to say: “Street photography is like fishing. Catching the fish is more exciting than eating it.”

For those who can’t watch the video, we’ve gathered the 23 tips for you below:

  1. Wear dark clothes – bright colors make you stand out.
  2. Some cameras can be controlled wirelessly – use this to your advantage.
  3. Choose the camera mode most suited for your experience and location.
  4. Frame your shot and wait for the right moment – you don’t always have to chase an image. Let them come to you.
  5. Shoot in burst/continous mode to ensure you have multiple shots to choose from in post-production.
  6. Be patient…wait for the decisive moment.
  7. Squint your eyes to see the luminance in a scene – this will help you better take into account how you should frame and expose your image – then place your subject in the brightest spot.
  8. Take a break and share a shot or two on social media so you don’t flood your followers with a ton of images at once.
  9. Use this time to back up your images – last thing you want to do is lose a hundred shots because you haven’t backed up your card recently.
  10. Find new angles. Get down low…
  11. …and up high.
  12. Use a tripod to expand your composition options.
  13. Water is great when used in combination with slow shutter speeds.
  14. Use available objects as framing tools – this not only lends context to your scene many times, but also helps balance the composition and tonality.
  15. Alleys and doorways are perfect tools for tip number 13.
  16. Sometimes only part of your subject is more interesting than all of it – don’t be afraid to experiment.
  17. Utilize shadows – they make for great shots.
  18. Ditto for reflections.
  19. Don’t be afraid of your subjects – worst thing they can say to snapping a photo is “no.”
  20. Use these meetings as a way to introduce yourself. Promise to send them a copy of the image and hand them a business card – it’s one of the best ways to get new followers on social media.
  21. Never delete photos. Storage is cheap – back up your photos as many times as possible.
  22. Black-and-white is wonderful for street photography, even if it has become a bit of a cliche.
  23. Don’t over-edit your photos – less truly is more.

If you’re new to street photography or photography as a whole, and have some questions, reach out in the comments below and this writer will respond to the best of his ability.

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