Street photography Zen,
Where can I begin, my friend?
1. Look up and down.
First tip, treat street photography like walking meditation, and shoot everything, with a 360 degree panoramic view.
Don’t just shoot ahead. Rather, look down and up.
When I was shooting in Kyoto, some of my best photos happened when I looked up. I reveled at the architecture, and the sights of the historical city.
Often when I look down, I find inspiring remnants of everyday life. Often it is just a small glove, a leaf on the floor, or a shadow or puddle that inspires me.
2. Walk 50% slower than you normally do.
I’m caffeinated pretty much 24/7. When I shoot street photography, I walk too fast.
Tip: try to walk 50% slower when you’re shooting. I try to feel the pavement beneath my feet, every step of the way.
Also, I try to walk without headphones on, and with my phone off. If you shoot street photography on a phone, switch it to airplane mode.
I think there are benefits to shooting street photography to music, to inspire you and pump you up. But the downside: risk of getting hit by a car, or by missing out on overhearing conversations on the streets, which might lead to interesting street portraits or encounters.
3. Don’t photograph only people
I don’t think street photography needs to include people. However, the best street photos often include people.
As a fun challenge, try to make a meaningful street photograph that doesn’t have a person.
Photograph urban landscapes, which uplift your mood. Or shoot urban landscapes where it makes you feel sad and depressed.
Zen street photography– street photography to cure your mind of anxiety, stress, and the bullshit of everyday living.
Treat street photography as a tool to relax, appreciate the beauty in the ordinary and mundane, and to stimulate your creative brain.
For more inspiration, check out my upcoming photography experiences in Kyoto and NYC. I also recommend you to pick up a copy of STREET NOTES from HAPTIC.
Above all, make photos for yourself. And do it slowly, appreciatively, and with your soul.