5 tips for staying invisible while shooting street photography

erik kim street photography invisible 5 tips woman photographer outside concept
rawpixel/123RF
One of the keys for successful street photography is to be as much of a fly on the wall as possible. When shooting strangers on the streets, awkward situations can arise, especially if someone doesn’t want their photo taken. But there are ways to ease this awkwardness, or avoid it entirely.

To share a few tips on how to be as inconspicuous as possible, street photographer Eric Kim has created and shared a 13-minute video. In it, he breaks down five tips he’s learned that help him to stay invisible when shooting street photography.

Each of the five tips Kim shares come with personal anecdotes that help explain how and why they work. Below, we’ll give a brief synopsis of the five tips:

  • Click, pause, move on – If you ever get caught taking a photo of someone and they look a bit salty or concerned, pause. Keep your eye in the viewfinder and move the camera around, as though you’re looking to compose another photograph. Your subject will be less likely to think it was them you were singling out.
  • Click, take a step closer, click, repeat – Rather than immediately jumping into the face of your subject, start out a little farther back and take one photo at a time as you move in. Not only does this fill the frame with your subject more, it also makes sure you have multiple photos before the person might ask you to stop.
  • Don’t make eye contact – This one is fairly straightforward. Less eye contact means less awkward confrontations.
  • Pretend like you’re shooting something behind them – Similar to tip number one, make it look like you’re shooting something other than the person or scene you’re actually shooting. Hold your eye to the viewfinder a bit more and pan around the scene.
  • Pretend you’re recording a video – People are less likely to think you’re taking a photo of only them if you look like a tourist capturing video.

For more context on each of these tips, be sure to watch the full video by Kim. You can find his work on his website and subscribe to his YouTube channel.

Product Review

Yuneec’s Mantis Q will make you wish you bought a DJI drone

Yuneec’s high-end drones are arguably the ones to beat in terms of flight control, design, and their photographic capabilities. But the company has struggled to make a low-end drone that’s worth buying, and the Mantis Q is proof of that…
Photography

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…
Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.
Android

Google Maps AR mode previewed, now in testing with small group of users

Google Maps AR mode is expected to launch to the public soon, as it has been rolled out to a small group of users for testing. The Wall Street Journal previewed the augmented reality feature.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

Using A.I., Lightroom can now boost the resolution of RAW photos

Need to eek a bit more resolution out of a RAW file? Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw can help with a new feature called Detail Enhance. The tool uses A.I. in the demosaicing process to enhance details and reduce artifacts.
Photography

Corel VideoStudio adds tools for customizing color in simple video edits

VideoStudio is Corel's more consumer-oriented video editor but the software recently gained advanced color correction tools. The update adds custom transitions, along with speeding up performance, and adding new shortcuts.
Photography

Tight on space? Here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer

Never lose any of your cherished selfies or family vacation photos from your iPhone again by learning how to transfer photos from your iPhone to a computer, whether you want to use a cable or wireless transfer.
Computing

500px reveals almost 15 million users are caught up in security breach

Almost 15 million members of portfolio website 500px have been caught up in a security breach. The hack occurred in 2018 but was only discovered last week. Users are being told to change their 500px password as soon as possible.
Photography

Olympus packs an enormous zoom ability in its latest interchangeable lens

The Olympus Digital ED M.Zuiko 12-200mm F/3.5-6.3 has the widest zoom range of any interchangeable lens with a 16.6x zoom. The lens, which covers a 24-400mm equivalent, is also weather sealed.
Photography

Nikon brings a classic workhorse lens to the Z series with new 24-70mm f/2.8 S

The Nikon Z series finally has a bright zoom available without an adapter. The Nikkor Z 24-70mm F/2.8 S offers new coatings and more customizable controls in a smaller, lighter body than the comparable F-mount lens.
Photography

Nikon will bring eye-detection autofocus to the Z6 and Z7 in May

An upcoming firmware update will bring Eye AF to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 -- along with improved autofocus performance in low light. The update will also give the cameras support for the CFexpress format.
Photography

Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a semi-pro, feature-rich camera that’s affordable to boot

Fujifilm's newest mirrorless camera delivers the premium features of the X-T3 without the premium price, giving aspiring enthusiasts a lower-cost option that can still match the image quality of Fuji's flagship.
Photography

Fujifilm XP140 squeezes more durability, low-light ability into a waterproof cam

Fujifilm's waterproof compact can now head even further underwater. The Fujifilm XP140 features several upgrades, including a more durable body, a wider ISO range for low light, and expanded auto modes.