102 Things I Have Learned About Street Photography

1x1.trans 102 Things I Have Learned About Street Photography

It now has been around 5 years that I have been shooting street photography- and I have learned an incredible amount through trial and failure. I made this recent list of things I have learned while shooting street photography– and some of my personal opinions. Remember, take everything in this list with a grain of salt! I simply made this list as both a way for me to self-reflect, and hopefully you can find some of these tips helpful.

You can also see my old posts, “101 Things I Have Learned About Street Photography” and “100 Things I Have Learned About Street Photography“. As you can see, many of my opinions have changed over the course of 2 years. Keep reading- I hope you enjoy!

1x1.trans 102 Things I Have Learned About Street Photography

1. A photograph is like a sentence. Aim to write a book.
2. Always smile and say “thank you” when shooting on the streets
3. Shoot with your heart, not with your eyes
4. Shooting with friends will make you feel much more comfortable on the streets
5. The most versatile focal length is 35mm
6. Don’t rely on autofocus – use zone focusing
7. Have a drink to loosen yourself up before shooting on the streets
8. Have at least 3 backups of all your photographs (hard drives all eventually fail)
9. If you shoot film, keep your images organized
10. The best critique is never online—always in-person
11. Don’t ask people what they like about your photographs, ask them what they don’t like
12. Having one camera and lens is bliss
13. Buy books, not gear

1x1.trans 102 Things I Have Learned About Street Photography

14. Style isn’t something aesthetic
15. “Shoot who you are” – Bruce Gilden
16. Harness the power of groups/collectives to spread your photography
17. Don’t focus on aesthetics in your photos—but rather the message
18. Shooting film is magical
19. Never upload your photographs immediately—let them marinate for at least a week before sharing them
20. Good projects often take at least a year to complete
21. Post-processing your images digitally should never take more than a minute
22. Printing your photographs out large is immensely satisfying
23. Share your knowledge & technique with others – never hoard it yourself
24. It is better to shoot everyday for 10 minutes than to shoot once a week for 10 hours
25. Only show your best work

1x1.trans 102 Things I Have Learned About Street Photography

26. Photo-sets with over 25 images are exhausting to look through
27. It is great to constantly experiment with your technique and gear—but once you find something that works reasonably well stop and stick with it
28. When in doubt, ask for permission
29. People love to be complimented while on the streets
30. Don’t take photos of people who look pissed off or walk extremely quickly. These are the people who often get upset when you take their photograph
31. If shooting digital, always shoot in RAW
32. Look at other forms of art for inspiration
33. Take photos of people’s faces, not their backs
34. Eyes are the windows to the soul. Get photos with eye-contact in your images.
35. Your photos are only as good as the photos you look at. Avoid the internet and look at photo-books for inspiration
36. Giving helpful critique to others will make you a better judge of your own work
37. “If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” – Robert Capa

1x1.trans 102 Things I Have Learned About Street Photography

38. After a whole day of shooting, I am lucky if I get 1-2 good photographs
39. The more time you spend on online forums, the less you will shoot
40. Don’t think too much while taking photographs. Avoid “paralysis by analysis”
41. Don’t chimp while shooting on the streets (checking your LCD screen). You will lose many decisive moments
42. “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity” – Seneca
43. You can get luckier in street photography by spending more time out shooting in the streets
44. Don’t crop. Get it right in-camera
45. Look for the light
46. You will take the best photographs in the least-likely places
47. Always carry your camera with you everywhere you go. Everywhere
48. The smaller your camera is the less intimidating you will look
49. Don’t shoot from the hip if you have a camera with a viewfinder. Use the viewfinder—that’s why it’s there
50. Good composition alone doesn’t make a good photograph. A great photograph needs soul.

1x1.trans 102 Things I Have Learned About Street Photography

51. Don’t let inspiration be your main source of motivation for shooting. Go out and shoot even when you don’t feel like it—and the streets will re-inspire you
52. Street photography doesn’t have to have people in it
53. “Creepiness is proportional to focal length”. Don’t shoot street photography with a telephoto/zoom lens
54. The best place to shoot street photography is your own backyard
55. Crouch often when shooting to get at least eye-level (or lower) to get a natural (or unusual perspective)
56. The lighter your camera bag, the more you will enjoy shooting
57. Don’t forget to look down and up when shooting
58. When in doubt, click
59. Don’t try to just take photos of interesting people, but try to take photos of interesting gestures
60. It is better to take an extraordinary photo of something ordinary, rather than taking an ordinary photo of something extraordinary
61. The way people react to street photography (all around the world) is often more similar than dissimilar

1x1.trans 102 Things I Have Learned About Street Photography

62. There is no perfect camera for street photography. Every camera has its own strengths/limitations
63. Learn to memorize a focal length so you can frame your shots before even bringing up your camera to your eye
64. The best combo: one camera and one lens
65. Focus on hands – they communicate strong messages to the viewer
66. Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t get pissed off when you take photos of them (most people actually quite like it)
67. Street photographs are well-balanced with an odd-number of subjects (1 person, 3 people, 5 people, etc)
68. “Realize that most of your photographs are crap” – Charlie Kirk
69. Shoot to please yourself, not others
70. The best response to internet trolls who criticize your work (without helpful critique) is to ignore them completely
71. If you have the opportunity, don’t just settle for one photograph. Take multiple photographs if possible. “Killers shoot twice” – Thomas Leuthard
72. If you don’t ask for critiques, nobody will ever give it to you
73. If you are going to ask someone for permission for a photograph, always preface your question with, “I know this may sound weird, but…”. Works like a charm.
74. If you don’t make time to go out and shoot, you will never go out and shoot.
75. Learn to judge distances well- so you can prefocus before you anticipate the shot (1.2 meters is roughly two arms-lengths, and 3 meters is roughly half the distance of a room)

1x1.trans 102 Things I Have Learned About Street Photography
76. Spend less time arguing over the definition of street photography, and go out and shoot more
77. You only remember 5-10 photographs from some of the most famous street photographers who have ever lived. Aim to take 5-10 great photographs before you die.
78. Photography is incredibly difficult
79. If people notice you taking a photograph of you, tell them, “Ignore me—pretend like you don’t see me” and most people will laugh it off and continue doing what they were doing
80. If confronted by a person on why you took their photograph, take a step toward them and be open and honest about your intentions. Stand your ground and know your rights.
81. Simplify your photographs. Less is more.
82. Don’t put watermarks on your photographs. It cheapens your work.
83. Street photographs don’t sell
84. Travel as often as you can to open up your views to the rest of the world and society
85. Always carry an extra memory card and battery (in war two is one and one is none)

1x1.trans 102 Things I Have Learned About Street Photography

86. Don’t always hunt for shots—if you are patient enough, they will come to you
87. Shoot at ISO 1600 or above (keep your shutter above 250ths/second)
88. f/8 and be there
89. Black cameras draw less attention to you
90. It is more interesting to take photos of rich people than poor people
91. Never delete any of your photographs (you can rediscover hidden gems later in the future)
92. Silver Efex Pro 2 is the best black and white conversion software for digital
93. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretsky
94. Don’t aim to take pretty photographs, aim to take meaningful photographs
95. Don’t be sneaky when shooting—you will get in twice as much trouble if you get caught
96. A great street photograph both has strong composition and story
97. When it comes down to it, composition isn’t as important as the story
98. 99.9% of the photographs online are crap
99. Love your critics
100.Offer to email your subjects their photographs (they love it)
101.Break the rules
102.Make your own list

What would you add to this list and what don’t you agree with? Leave your feedback in the comments below! 

 

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  • http://twitter.com/BenicioMurray Benicio Murray

    Some real gems of wisdom in this list. Thank you.

  • http://www.cutebun.blogspot.com Cutebun

    I learnt a lot this time! *Proceeds to read previous guides* =)

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      :)

      • Amrit

        It was an awesome read. :). And really enlightening to what you think of while shooting. Maybe a possible extension? If you wanna freeze the moment go with a flash?

  • Federico Mambelli

    Thank you a lot

  • Mattias

    103: it’s all about the light.

  • Wilfredo Raguro

    103: Live life and the pictures will follow
    http://www.photostudious.com

  • takeshigarcia

    Eye contact definitely changes a lot

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Most definitely T!

  • Gohilruturajsingh

    this is gr8 , i did saw your other post on blog and thanks for mentioning tips … “You Rock Man , I like your confidence while u r shooting on street”..

    i did like the points which you have mention here…

    thanks for sharing :) piece …..
    Raj..

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Missing you Raj – glad you enjoyed it! Been shooting a lot in Singapore?

  • http://twitter.com/casadresden Juliette

    Thank you so much for these! I love them. I have a 25mm pancake lens and wondered how 35 is more versatile. I actually own a 35 for one of my my film cameras, but haven’t used it yet. I’ve been shooting with 50mm and the 25mm. Anyway, great gems here and thank you!

  • Kyle Barry Photography

    Really great read! and great photo’s! thanks for sharing!!!!
    http://www.kylebarryphotography.blogspot.com/

  • FiSh SzeHui

    thanks for sharing and that’s really a good knowledge bout street photography!

    Latest: Customizable Irish Sandwich

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.craker Lee Craker

    Hi Erick, I think there is a lot of great stuff here. I have alternate opinions on a few things on the list your readers may consider. #7 Try it sober you might like it and your work may improve. lol. # 18 yes film is magical when 1- you can buy it and 2 – you can process it and 3 – you can scan it. You can only do that in rich countries or large cities in poor countries. Digital is faster and much more universal if you are prepared. #34 by making eye contact you just changed the scene, and the subject is now both subject and partner in the image making process. Many people like this, but I usually prefer a more natural looking result where the subject is unaware of the camera, or at least not an active participant in the image. #35 You can find most photo books worth looking at on the internet, if you try. #37 Remember Capa died trying to get close, any distance can work, and some are healthier in a conflict situation. #44 get the shot if it needs cropping because you had to rush the shot – no problem, the image is what counts. #90 totally disagree. I love shooting all people but poor people are far more interesting, and IMHO much more real, however as a rich famous wedding photographer said – if you want to make a name for yourself – shoot rich people.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Thank you for all the considerations and feedback – important things to note!

  • http://www.stephendirado.com/ Stephen DiRado

    Great thing about the medium is that all rules are made to be broken. I’m not sure that a single photograph is as much about completing a sentence as it is more about creating fiction. Garry Winogrand questioned this through his work. I would say that it takes one to inspect an entire body of work from a photographer to not see insights to a person, people or society, but figure out what kind of stuff the photographer is made out of and what is it he/she is trying to personally say through the work. You can assign a dozen photographers to explore one street corner for months on end, each will come back with their POV, all very different.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Most definitely – you are right Stephen. Winogrand said a photograph couldn’t tell a story- and was just light reflected off a surface. I disagree with him, although ironically enough his images told a lot about society during his time (thinking of the photo of the interracial couple and disabled vet).

      I’m also sure you have seen tons of different POV’s through your student’s work too!

      • isoterica

        I think the story is told through the perspective of the person viewing the photograph. Their life experiences/knowledge etc. leads them to conclude what they do which means what I interpret from a photograph might be different from what you see, story-wise, even though the elements are seen in the exact same orientation for both of us. Maybe photographs, particularly older ones that show society and how it has changed as compared to present day illustrate something historically but ultimately it is the person viewing the image that gives it a story. So Winogrand is right but to me his statement hangs unfinished because we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t derive something from it and what we derive from what we see.. is ‘the story’.

  • Crousillac Adrien

    This is damn useful. Thanks a lot !

  • http://www.facebook.com/olferd Olfer Dube

    learned a lot thank you so much ..this is the one that i need am aspiring photographer ..educating my self through you is great …..

  • imthedude

    Perhaps, “Ask forgiveness not permission” might be a good add to your list.

  • Ramones

    103. Get in the face of seniors and females but hip shoot black men and others that can kick your ass.

  • http://twitter.com/Apprendre_Photo Apprendre Photo

    Good selection of tips.

    Kim can you give me your permission to translate this advice into French and publish it on our photography blog?

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Go for it man! If you could link to the original post, that would be very nice!

      • http://www.facebook.com/leocavallini Leo Cavallini

        Emailed you about the same thing, in portuguese ;)

  • Julienrath

    Mr Cartier Bresson wouldn’t have agreed with your thoughts on composition but I do. Thanks for this

  • Liam

    Rule 103 : Lists suck.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Why do you say that?

      • Arley From ShootAbout

        Rule 70 :)

  • Thisisstupid

    This list is full of nonsense. I’m sorry.

    You should have dropped the list down to 25.

    21. Post-processing your images digitally should never take more than a minute

    This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Like I said earlier in the post- take everything with a grain of salt! These are my personal opinions and things I have learned that have helped me. You don’t need to agree with everything on this list- only whatever resonates with you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=561027789 Adrian Boliston

      I agree 1 minute is stupid.

      30 seconds is more than enough.

      • samin

        25 seconds should do : )

        • Raymond Massé

          If it takes more than a minute, it could be part of the 99.9% craps we see online …

    • Gabriel Lance

      then you need to be an editor not a photographer!

    • Glman74

      I guess Henri-Carter Bresson must have been pretty stupid to not spend any time at all on post processing. (He outsourced his printing.)

      • OiD

        But Henri didn’t have a digicam…

      • Raymond Massé

        95% of photographers using film were not good in the darkroom. 95% of digital camera users pretend to be good on editing their own photographs …

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/T6ICBNWZ6PUCZMIWVWFOHTMYXQ Pads

      To each his own, I guess… In the same way that I disagree, since I usually take a minimum of 5 minutes staring at my photo while post processing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Anoop.Valluthadam Anoop Valluthadam

      What Eric mention in this post is what he learned from his experience. Not from others. So person to person it will differ. We cant say that something is wrong and something is right. Because for him everything what he thought is right. Like others. :-)

  • Tom

    I appreciate this whole list, but ’90. It is more interesting to take photos of rich people than poor people’ angered me.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      What about it upset you?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/T6ICBNWZ6PUCZMIWVWFOHTMYXQ Pads

        For me, it’s not really being upset but it’s not a good generalization. I’d rather have it off the list. :)

        • donpark1

          Can you really rate a Generalization? It is exactly that. 200 people could have different feelings about that statement. That will not change the fact that it’s his opinion/statement/generalization… They are words on a screen and you can not write them encompassing every persons feelings and reactions to them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/leocavallini Leo Cavallini

      I also didn’t like it, looks segregationist. Simplicity of poor people might be a big plus on street photography. They are different, they see different and think different from each other.

      • Kari P

        Sorry to say, but this sounds like romanticism – it is too easy to look at poor people as objects through certain spectacles… Shooting rich people is much challenging and demanding, the story of the modern world . Photos of poor people are almost always the same – all over the world – Nepal, Moscow, New York… More like exploitation too often. Of course there are great photographs of the poor – but only when the poverty is just the background and there is enough respect. And – poor people can also be just boring , pretending and dull – like we all sometimes.

        • Oak Park Dave

          I agree that certain photos of the poor do seem like exploitation. At the same time, taking pictures of the poor serves as a documentary reminder that poverty and social inequality are major problems. If photographers stop taking photos of the poor and homeless, photographers will note be documenting the entire society. If I choose to only photograph the wealthy and beautiful the story that I record will not tell the whole truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Scratchley/705797547 John Scratchley

    There are some real truths in this list as well as some excellent pointers about taking street photos.

  • Oscar

    Very good list Eric! I really think you know what you are talking about. Great inspiration!

  • Kyle Boddy

    Some fantastic points here Eric! I have only recently gotten my camera (canon 550d), but i instantly fell in love with street photography and now try and get out as often as I can.

    I have to admit I hadn’t come across your website/blog until I saw the video with you and Kai Man Wong on Digitalrev, but already I have learned a lot.

    Just wanted to say thanks for all of this info, really helps a newbie to photography like me :)

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Keep rocking Kyle- shoot from the heart and go out as often as you can! :)

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  • http://joshhaygood.com/ Joshua Haygood

    Good stuff. There are certainly very few rights and wrongs. Just opinions and photographs and both are beautiful things.

    Commentaries
    18. Indeed. Film is the best in the medium!
    34. Eye contact makes a photo different, not better and sometimes the best pictures are painstakingly planned and attempted multiple times before they come to fruition.
    67. This is very interesting. May I ask why?
    68. Ha Ha
    83. Street Photographs only sell if they are compiled into a masterfully created book. (and then only after the photographer is dead)
    88. Amen

    Additions
    *Get some nice glass. The photos are more important than the gear but good glass is more important than the newest camera.
    *Nobody can make you delete your photo.
    *Its the “rule of thirds” not the “law of thirds”

    Love what you are doing man. Keep living your dream! Great stuff.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Thanks chief! :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=561027789 Adrian Boliston

    Interesting list
    2) Smile – yes! Say “thank you” – not so sure
    5) I’d say 28mm is ideal (I have tried 35 & 50 also)
    6) Zone focus – one of the best things I have learnt
    7) As long as it’s a decent real ale
    12) One camera/one lens is a no brainer for street
    28) If I felt I had to ask for permission then I would not take the shot
    33) good tip – backs are often boring
    34) eye contact can often help
    37) yep – closer normally helps
    44) yep – cropping sucks
    48) a small lens is better than a small camera
    49) agree – hip shooting is pretty lame
    53) anything over 50 (on FX) is creepy – yep
    56) who needs a bag?
    75) yep – prefocus is the way
    82) watermarks suck and mainly appear on lame photos
    87) iso1600 is fine but not in bright sun
    95) sneaky is creepy

  • Steven R. Hazlett

    Thanks for the inspiration! -SRH

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  • StreetX

    35mm for dx is to use 24mm right or not?

  • iamamazed

    “It now has been around 5 years that I have been shooting street photography”. meaning since you were 19 year-old, of which i think you went ‘pro’ (not because you’ve gathered vast knowledge but you were retrenched, sorry to say that) a only little more than 6 months ago and now you are traveling the world preaching ‘street photography’ like a Pope. i’ve known a lot of ‘pro’ who has decades of experiences to share but doesn’t charge and i can confidently say that they are truly ‘open-source’ photographers!

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      I have made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot through the 5 years or so I have been shooting street photography. I hope that all the information I publish to the blog is helpful to others who want to learn street photography!

  • Abcdefghijk

    “Like I said earlier in the post- take everything with a grain of salt! ” Then why write? Shouldn’t you be spending more time polishing your street photography skill rather than in social media?

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Combination of both – taking my photography much more seriously recently (working on serious projects and not publishing to Flickr). I still have a long way to go!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=825445590 Sahara Sy

    i dont know. im def not a good photographer. but i really love your work.

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  • AMP

    I love this list. Though, there is one thing I get a little tired of hearing: “don’t crop.” I keep hearing this guideline or “rule,” but I’ve yet to hear a good explanation as to why. I compose my shots through the viewfinder, and 90% of the time, I get what I want. But in at least 1 out of 10 photos I find a better reason to crop than to leave it as is. Just saying. What’s the point behind “never cropping”?

    • http://www.facebook.com/fairandsquare Arthur Alva

      I think the aim of that “rule” was simply to say try your damn near hardest to get it right in camera. Basically aim to not have to crop.

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  • http://blog.seliger.com jseliger

    13. Buy books, not gear

    What books do you recommend for novices?

    What books have had a profound effect on you?

    • Dfdresher

      The Americans – Robert Frank

    • Universalerror

      next list. a list of good books!

    • Michael Rasmussen

      The one you checked out from the library and wished you owned.

  • Jakealbina

    Nice list Eric. But I do have one question, what do you mean by “zone focus”?

    • Steve Down

      It’s pre-focusing your camera to a certain distance manually; the focal length of the lens and aperture you’re using will pull a particular depth of field into focus. That way, you approach a subject from a fixed, estimated distance, and shoot, instead of waiting for your autofocus to lock on.

  • Luke_saxon

    This is brilliant. It has inspired me to get out there more. Thank you.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/T6ICBNWZ6PUCZMIWVWFOHTMYXQ Pads

    87 may be conditional. Especially on systems that cannot give good output at ISO 1600.

    I agree and live by “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”

  • PM

    Very Helpful Tips!!

  • http://twitter.com/stormcab stormcab

    Hi Kim. I disagree with the one about not using a telephoto lens. I regularly go out with my 100-400mm, and get totally candid shots. I feel a lot of shots are “unreal” if the subject is looking at you. Also, the fact that you’ve said this contradicts many of your other rules – i.e. 101- Break the rules :)
    Using this lens means a whole different set of rules, body language, and sneakiness.

    This is my most recent lot http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormcab/sets/72157629402555299/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1062174497 John Williams

    I just broke one rule to adhere to another: I went and bought myself a new camera bag (i.e., not a book) — a small one just big enough to hold my 5D with battery grip and a 35mm lens and my flash — so that I would have a compact way to carry around just this one piece of gear for street photography. I’m going for the one-camera/one-lens approach for a while. Great post!

  • http://twitter.com/IanBrumpton Ian Brumpton

    Fun, educational & true – what more can you ask! Great job Eric.

  • Mugumbo

    I enjoyed your list and have had a good laugh at the trolls complaining about it. Why does everyone have to be so negative about something you took the time to put together and share? How about all the complainers leave a link to your own blogs so we can bash your hard work!

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Thanks for the support mate. I love the trolls! They keep things interesting ;)

  • http://www.specialimages.co.uk/blog/ Corporate photographer

    If you like your subject, your photos will reflect that. Be passionate about what you do and everything else will follow.

  • http://www.specialimages.co.uk/blog/ Corporate photographer

    If you are passionate about your work and like your subject then everything else will follow.

  • Steve Down

    Eric, great list, love the perspective. One question, though – do you ever feel compelled to get a release from a subject?

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  • i9zero

    Nice list! I should use my poor man’s Leica, yashica electro 35g,, more often. Do you develop your own film?

  • Kevin

    Incredibly informative, I will take this list and add to it as I grow as a photographer… I will pass that on with credit to its origins… I too believe in sharing knowledge for how else do we grow…

    Thank you Kim

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  • Apprendre_Photo

    Good evening Kim just published the translation of your article on our blog Moroccan photograph
    http://apprendre-photographie.com/2012/03/06/102-choses-que-jai-apprises-sur-la-photographie-de-rue-par-le-photographe-eric-kim/

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  • unknown711

    “90. It is more interesting to take photos of rich people than poor people”

    I don’t know if someone wrote it before but in my opinion this is crap! Rich people always want to look perfect and follow the latest fashion, poor people look much more interesting because no one looks like the other and they have the best stories to tell.

    All in all it is a very good list, I will take notice of a few points.
    Greetings,
    Hannes

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Thanks for the post! Generally poor people (in my opinion) make for boring photographs – as taking photos of homeless are cliched and generally are insensitive. Photographs of the rich are often under-represented in street photography. My thoughts!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/framton.goodman Framton Goodman

    Thank you (3)! A great help.

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  • Abeejah

    your images arent great, but unique. it does not capture beauty but reality! great work.

  • Hendrik

    My suggestion:
    When you want to be a people photographer you should at first have a love for people.
    Then: Don’t compare photography to war.

  • Carla

    I liked this list, thank you for sharing your experiences.

    I don’t understand why some people get so angry within these comments, especially over free information that someone has taken their time to share. If you’ve taken offence to anything on this list, you aren’t yet “seeing” from your heart. On the other hand, I love the fact that there are so many comments, I’m from Western Australia and street photography isn’t appreciated or known in this state, so it’s awesome that I can go online and find conversations like this.

    If I could add one point also? (couldn’t see this point on list) I think it’s important to hit the streets with an INTENT on what you want to shoot, if you don’t do this, 5 years later you might look back at your work and see no common theme or anything that ties the images together besides them being aesthetically pleasing (and no professional gallery will take on your work if there’s no artist statement backing it).

  • Edouard

    Great list Eric, there are loads of helpful tips in there. I will definitely save it somewhere on my laptop!

  • http://www.headshotlondon.co.uk/editorial_photographers/ Portrait Photographers

    Interesting Post

  • Ohmailitall

    I can tell already, I am going to learn a lot from you. Thank you Eric. I love street photography! My experience is pretty limited but I hope to change that. The few videos I’ve viewed so are inspiring and motivating. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/JReckitt James Reckitt

    Really good post – thank you for sharing!

  • samin

    its more interesting to pictures of rich people then poor people? Please motivate.

  • https://plus.google.com/108924136210249299218 Roman Tripler

    maybe think about some numbers after reading this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_Lucida_(book)
    but interesting to read.

  • savannah

    I love this! It really helped me a lot. I’m in high school, and I’ve been shooting street photography for about a year now and almost everything on your list I have learned to be true. Thank you!

  • Loon Lio

    Eric, great article. curious as to why keep the ISO above 1600? and F8?

    • Jonska

      “f/8 and be there” is a famous quote from Arthur “Weegee” Fellig who died in the seventies. The idea was that in photojournalism there was not much time to fiddle with controls and f/8 gave the depth of field needed for the vast majority of situations. “Be there” needs no explanation. If you’re not there (where the action is) you don’t get the shot.

      Above 1600? Haven’t a clue.

      Good list and good reading.

  • Himanshuthakur

    why to keep iso 1600

    why to keep ISO 1600

  • http://twitter.com/plrang Plrang GFX

    102 is the best : do not stick to death with this list. Don’t make it a “decalogue”. Great tips, best regards

    • Himanshuthakur

      just asking

  • db photography

    I am an amateur photographer and I am looking to do some street photography. This was a very useful page!
    I have a photography blog, and it would mean a lot to me for some people to check it out. Follow, like, comment!

    http://beautyfromdbphotography.wordpress.com/

    Thank you!

  • Raymond Massé

    Rule 103: always keep in mind a sense of ethic : involved people under candid camera are … people.

  • Fabrizio Nannini

    I must compliment for such a great list. It’s really accurate and helpful both for the beginner and the pro, I must only point out that #83 is true but not always, except for really great shots, which happens to be extremely rare. And I critically can state, without fear of being contradicted, that you shot at least one, picture #4 from the top (the walking man and its reflections). That image, although being centered and excessively symmetrical (but here those two flaws are ok) could be easily attributed to photographers like Cartier-Bresson or Giacomelli. I think you can print it in a fine art paper and sell it easily. That’s a perfect shot, and I’m saying this with all of my critical and emotional mind.

  • Junho Kim

    Thanks for the wonderful tips.

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  • Info

    Great list, lots of good tips and inspiring stuff on it.

  • Cathydpm

    Great list! Thank you. Reading it has been helpful and inspiring.

  • Kitty

    Eric, just remind yourself of #70. Because some of these people are only trolls! Keep up your hard work. Your posts help a lot of people!! I love your work, you inspire me! :)

  • Dave

    I find your insight and passion really encouraging Mr Kim. Thanks for sharing your photography journey with us.

  • the_man

    You say post-processing should not take more than a minute… yet you also say always shoot in RAW…. yea, RAW post-processing always takes me about 45 seconds on average, ROFL!

  • http://www.facebook.com/spainwillwintheworldcup Daniel Perianu

    Hehehe #69
    Was that placed there for a reason? Funny!

  • DavisDouglas

    Nice list! The one pt I dont agree with is shoot twice. I say shoot one and move on. It will teach you to tighten up your style vs shooting like a machine gun. Maybe that is a throwback from film but I have heard some of the “biggies” of street shooting say the same thing (believe Eggleston, for example).

  • Eric G. Kruize

    great list, except your comments about that rich people are more “interesting” . I live now for almost ten years in Africa, and think my “work” here is much better than from what I did Amsterdam, and WashingtonDC

  • Matthew

    But, I like gear!!! Great pointers. I’ll put them to use tomorrow morning.

  • GWT

    Great list Eric!

    You must be doing something right as so many people have taken the time to post – keep it up!!

  • Gast_In

    Great! Thanks a lot!

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  • Maxotics

    Your post inspired me to try street photography settings; that is, high aperture, manual focus, I’d love it if you bought a used Sigma DP1 or 2 and compared it against your Leica. Anyway, here’s my quick findings. Thanks again for your tips!
    http://maxotics.blogspot.com/2012/08/sigma-dp2s-vs-canon-g12-at-iso-800.html

  • northy

    thank you! i really enjoyed this list and i’ve bookedmarked for later review and reminders… and one day i will make my own list :) however, i have a question for you… in point 31, you say to always shoot RAW (if working with digital)… however, in point 21 you say post-processing should never take more than a minute… i am curious as to why you would shoot RAW if you don’t plan on spending more than 60 seconds processing? (i am a novice when it comes to RAW, but i haven’t quite seen much in the way of added value for street photography unless the lighting is truly awful)… tx!!!

  • Lauren (PB&G)

    I love this list – it will be incredibly helpful! Thank you so much for sharing what you’ve learned!

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  • Genki chan

    Eric, you are a serious artist. I really appreciate your efforts and how you love street photography with humility and hard practice, looking a lot of photographs by the masters too. And thanks a lot for sharing these useful thoughts. They really help me.

    I wish one day I could take a good one. I practice everyday, but it doesn’t help :(

    Regards

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Anytime Genki – keep it up! :)

  • Genki chan

    I just would like to add one interesting thing: When you practice street photography passionately, you get slim. It’s a really good sport too. Another reason for go out and take pictures and don’t seat in front of the PC

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  • Tristan

    Great list dude… Something there for everyone!

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    This was helpful for me and it really gave me allot to think about. Thanks for this!

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    This was helpful for me and it really gave me allot to think about. Thanks for this!

  • Andy

    I truly loved your list and agreed on much points. Perhaps the one thing I loved more than others is the fact that you aren’t pretending on telling us what you think about street photography. I mean, you are perfectly conscious that “all the glitters ain’t gold” and, as you said, photography is so difficult. In general I would say that this is so inspiring and makes me want to pick up my camera, go out in the streets and just enjoy.

  • Michael Rasmussen

    Carry cards with your web URL and offer to post their photo so they don’t need to share their email address.

  • Yoganandhan

    Hi eric, Thank you so much for such a practically points, i have started to shoot last month, already i am clicking like a mad man, i believe your points will take me to next level. keep it up.

  • djm

    Verbal diarrhea. The sickness of the modern social media. Why stop here.

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