Importance of the Moment in Street Photography

Street photography is all about capturing the right moment. While some moments present themselves out of the blue, other moments can be anticipated. Your composition may be great, but an interesting moment is the final factor that creates a spark in your image. Without it, your street photography will feel incomplete. In this video, photographer Ibarionex Parello talks about the importance of the moment in street photography:

Anticipate Where Your Moment Will Be

If you’ve been taking street photos for a good amount of time, chances are that you’re able to anticipate where your moment will happen. In such cases, make sure that you set your camera, and the composition in a way that the subjects(s), and the moment are free from any kind of distraction.

For instance, in the image below, you may notice that even though the background is pretty busy, the photographer has snapped the image only when a major portion of the girl’s body is against the clear blue sky.

“You have to know when you want to make the shot. I am not in favor of just using a camera in burst mode and just hoping.”

Capturing Several Moments

If you get lucky, you might even capture several moments moments in a single frame. Surely, this can’t always be anticipated. But, if you’re able to anticipate several moments coming together, make sure that they don’t interfere with each other. Let each moment stand out.

multiple moments in a single photo

A person walking across, a couple going up, and a figure in red coming down; the three moments in this photograph.

Capture Interaction

When moments are predictable, you get better time to prepare yourself to take the image. In such circumstances, wait for the moment when multiple subjects are interacting with each other. This conveys a stronger message. While you’re waiting for the right moment when subjects interact, you can pay attention to get the light, shadows, colors and patterns right. And when there’s interaction, snap the photo.

“There’s a visual tension that arises as a result of having both hands in the frame. And that’s the moment that you’re looking for.”

people handling ice

“Don’t be in such a rush just to make the snapshot because you’re afraid of missing something. You really have the choice to slow down and make sure that you’re capturing a genuine moment.”

Which kind of photographer are you? The one who waits patiently to create and capture a moment, or the one who just snaps away? Try being the former one if you can.

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever