Street Photography: Photographing People Part 2

Going out onto the streets to take pictures of people is a daunting thing to do if you aren’t used to working spontaneously or approaching strangers.  However, it’s an amazing, free opportunity to get some stunning shots and will increase your confidence too.  Even if you feel that you are a shy person who seldom approaches people the truth is anyone can do it – and everyone has to start somewhere!

So think about what it is you want to achieve.  Keeping a focus on what to photograph will mean you have consistent shots.

Some things you could focus on include:

1.    What people are wearing:

Street Style photo books are very popular as are looks for magazines.  Pick out people who stand out and look interesting even if they aren’t wearing anything you would personally choose.  With these kinds of images you could get local magazines or newspapers interested or even start your own fashion photography website.

Or you could even look for a specific trend.  Looking for people in tights? Or people in short skirts? These kinds of images could really work when put together, especially if you can create some kind of collage in Photoshop.

2.    Pick a specific accessory:

If you don’t want to focus on an outfit as a whole, how about picking one thing – for example, shoes or just trainers, handbags or necklaces.  You could pick out peoples sunglasses or even their hat choices too.

Alternatively pick out something specific that people wear – for example on women, what lipsticks they are wearing.  On men, it could be their beards.

3.    Body Art.

Sounds like a strange one but these days people have interesting tattoos and body piercings.  People who have interesting tattoos and piercings tend to want to show them off so may be happy for you to photograph them.  Take a macro lens with you if you want to just photograph the intricate details.

4.    Hair

Hair is another extremely popular subject matter and there are plenty of people out there with interesting designs.  Look for bright colors and sharp cuts – don’t dismiss hairstyles that just look chic and simple too.

5.    Use Angles

Don’t just photograph people from the front straight on.  How about capturing people from a different angle, such as behind or from up top.

6.    Using the same location

Another interesting thing you could do is focus on one location and photograph the different people who pass through – for example a park bench or even a phone box – who are the people who will go there during the day?  What are they doing there, who are they trying to call?

Quite often if there is a story behind the photograph, this adds a nice touch so don’t be afraid to ask what they are doing there, where are they going, who are they meeting?  It’s amazing to see how many people have different stories to tell and you could add this to your portfolio as long as your model doesn’t mind!

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