Street photo of woman in advertisement banging against billboard.

5 Tips How to Conquer Your Fears of Shooting Street Photography


1. Pretend like you’re shooting something behind someone.

2. Compliment a stranger, and ask to “make” a “portrait” of them

Don’t ask people to “take” a “picture” of them. It sounds creepy.

Better to say, “Do you mind if I make your portrait?”

  • “Make”: more creative than “take”
  • Portrait”: More artistic and intentional than a “picture”

3. Use a flash at night

Funny enough, by using a flash in street photography, you look more like a tourist, and people are actually less suspicious of you making pictures.

Therefore, try to experiment shooting with a flash at night or during the day— but pretend like you are just shooting touristy pictures, and you don’t know how to turn off your flash function.

Assignment: Take a street photo with a flash, and afterwards, look down at your camera, looking confused, and pretending like you don’t know why the flash is automatically turning itself on. Then turn off your flash, and take another picture — don’t make eye contact with your subject, and walk away.

4. “Fishing technique”

Find a clean and simple background, and wait for your subjects to enter the frame. This will be a good technique that you can get close to your subjects, be more AGGRESSIVE, and more BOLD in your street photography.

Try doing this with a 28mm or 35mm lens. And keep your eyes fixated on the background while you’re shooting.

5. “Fake it until you make it”

Mad men. NYC, 2017. Pentax 645Z

I fake confidence when I don’t feel confidence. But the funny truth:

When I fake my confidence, I actually do end up feeling more confident.

To be truthful in street photography, you will never be 100% confident. That’s fine.

My suggestion, everyday, try to push yourself a little bit outside of your comfort zone. Everyday.

Make small talk with that attractive person you see on the streets. Make unreasonable requests. Make small talk with the person in the elevator.

Conclusion: Build confidence in all aspects of your life

Reach out for new business opportunities, that you don’t think you can get. Upload a video to YouTube, or write an essay that you are afraid that others might criticize.

The thicker you can grow your bronze skin, the more risks you’ll be able to make in life. And with more risk, comes greater reward. And with more reward comes more power, self-confidence in yourself, and the opportunity to empower others and the rest of humanity.