50 Street Photography Tips by ERIC KIM

Advice I wish I could have given myself if I started street photography all over again:

  1. When in doubt, shoot 25% more photos than you think you should
  2. If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough – Robert Capa
  3. The Dutch angle (tilting your camera and forcing a diagonal composition of a scene) is an easy way to elevate the dynamism of your compositions
  4. The best way to share your photos are on your own blog.
  5. Instagram is bad for your creativity
  6. The best camera for street photography is the newest digital RICOH GR camera
  7. Rangefinders are overrated for street photography. When we want a Leica M camera, we just want to become Henri Cartier-Bresson
  8. Monochrome will open up more street photography opportunities for you.
  9. Your first million street photos are your worst
  10. The best street photographers are Henri Cartier-Bresson, Josef Koudelka, then Richard Avedon
  11. 28 MM is the ideal focal length for street photography if you use a camera with an LCD screen. If you use a viewfinder that you bring up the camera to your eye, then 35mm is ideal.
  12. The best perspective in street photography are either super low or super high up. Avoid shooting street photos at eye level.
  13. The most educational street photography book is Magnum Contact Sheets, then 100 Lessons from the Masters of Street Photography
  14. Capturing strong emotions in street photography is more important than capturing strong compositions and in street photography.
  15. Rather than asking yourself whether it is a good street photo or not, ask yourself whether you care for the photo or not.
  16. If you shoot it outside of your house, then it is a street photograph.
  17. The best way to improve your street photography is to practice, buy books not gear, and travel. Experiences are the best bang for the buck for improving your photography.
  18.  The best shoes for street photography are the most minimal with the least amount of cushioning. This is either water shoes, minimalist shoes, Vibram five fingers, or Nike free shoes.
  19. To increase your photographic productivity, shoot in small JPEG with in camera filters and presets. For example high contrast Monchrome black and white photos in Ricoh G3, or color filters for Fujifilm digital cameras like the classic chrome filter.
  20. Apple photos is better than Adobe Lightroom to quickly select, favorite, and sync your photos to iCloud.
  21. The best cities in the world for street photography include Mexico City, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Saigon, Hanoi, downtown Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco (no particular order) 
  22. To become a more productive street photographer, best not to own a car. This will force you to take more public transportation and walk, which will open up more street photography opportunities to you.
  23. You don’t have to have humans in your street photos, but you should have a sense of humanity in your photos.
  24.  The best diet for street photographers is a ketogenic diet mixed with intermittent fasting.
  25. The best workout for street photographers are heavy kettle bell swings.
  26. The best Youtubers to follow on street photography are Kaiman Wong, and Samuel street life.
  27. The best bang for the buck film camera for film street photography is a Leica M6, and the best bang for the buck lens for street photography film is the Voightlander 35 mm F 2.5 color skopar. Follow Japan Camera Hunter Bellamy Hunt for anything film related.
  28. The most innovative modern street photographer is Dirty Harrry from Greece.
  29. If you’re curious about flash street photography just try it out. It will open up a great deal of extremely interesting street photo opportunities.
  30. To make stronger compositions in street photography, better to subtract from the frame than to add to the frame.
  31. The best color street photographer is Alex Webb. The Suffering of Light is the best color street photography book.
  32. The best black and white street photography book is Exiles by Joseph Koudelka. 
  33. Color street photography is more difficult and challenging than black and white street photography.
  34. Street photography is good for the soul. Treat it like walking meditation and walking therapy, and your artistic and creative outlet.
  35. Better to ask for permission in street photography and get rejected then to never ask at all. Also, asking for permission in street photography is more difficult and challenging than shooting without permission and candidly.
  36. The triangle composition in street photography as the most simple yet effective street photography compositions.
  37. Street photography is more of an approach and ethos than a strict definition and genre.
  38. Best to define street photography for yourself, and allow your definition of street photography to evolve over time.
  39. The more difficult it is to shoot a certain street photograph, the more likely it will be unique and more difficult to replicate.
  40. Imagine whether 300 years from now whether your street photos will still ring an emotional bell with your future viewers.
  41. To capture more depth in your street photos, focus on what is furthest away from the scene.
  42. The best technical settings in street photography are autofocus, Program (P) mode and auto ISO. “Just set it and forget it”.
  43. When reviewing and editing your photos (image selection) remember the adage: “When in doubt, ditch.”
  44. The most important thing to know in your photography: “Why do I make photos?”
  45. Street photography is like driving: it is not a matter of if you will ever get into an accident, but when. In other words, always be ready for a confrontation in street photography and take it as a mark of pride.
  46. Longevity is the best marker of ‘success’ as a photographer.
  47. The best street photographers are not on social media. And don’t forget– street photography is not a contest, but a personal pursuit and creative endeavor.
  48. COVID-19 has changed the game for street photography– now is your chance. Strike the iron while it is hot.
  49. Start your own street photography blog, and share your experiences and personal wisdom.
  50. Every photo you shoot is a stream of becoming.


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