Street Photography: 7 Tips to Get Creative

Street photography lets you capture the authenticity of a location. It demands a lot of attention from the photographer who needs to be very aware of their surroundings. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s no room for creativity in street photography. COOPH shares seven simple tips for you to get creative with street photography:

1. Shoot shadows and silhouettes

While most street photographers choose to photograph the people out on the streets, you can get creative by shooting their shadows or silhouettes instead. Mornings are a great time to photograph high contrast shadows. Keep an eye out for areas that are well lit and wait for people to pass by. And when they do, photograph their shadows. Alternatively, you can scout dark places and photograph toward the light. Placing isolated subjects on the brighter side can result in compelling images.

silhouette of a man running on the street

2. Look for reflections

Look out for reflective surfaces. It could be windows, cars, mirrors, or even puddles. You can then compose by including an interesting reflection. Using a wide-angle lens comes in handy for reflections.

creative use of mirror in street photography

3. Find formalism

Street photography need not always be unpredictable. By adhering to the basic “rules” of photography, you can still get some amazing street shots. Keep an eye out for interesting shapes and repetitive patterns. Make them an element of your composition. Use basic yet effective composition techniques like diagonals and leading lines. Even make use of slower shutter speeds for creative effects.

diagonal lines in street photography

4. Observe the details

Street photography requires the photographer to pay a lot of attention to their surroundings. But you don’t always need to look out for intense stories and happenings to photograph. Pay some extra attention to everyday things. You’ll be amazed to see how you can find beauty even in the simplest places.

wall art in street photography

5. Isolate colors

Isolating colors can make your photo stand out. Look out for bright colors and frame your photo around that color. Later in post, desaturate all other colors to bring out a cool effect.

selective colors in street photography

6. Recreate history

Find old images of the location that you will be visiting, get a print, and carry the copy with you. Once you arrive at the location, try and identify the location from where it was shot. Then, hold it out, align the image and take a shot. This way, you can recreate history. Use a tripod to free your hands.

overlapping old images with present streets

7. Create a sense of motion

By introducing motion, you can make your images portray a sense of life. Slow down your shutter speed whenever you can. By using a neutral density (ND) filter, you can do so even in broad daylight. However, be sure to use a tripod to avoid camera shake.

long exposure street photography

We’d love to hear from you if you have some creative street photography tips of your own.

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