What is required to become a Street Photographer

Street photography can take on many forms, from candid to reportage, journalism and portraiture, to war correspondence. The essence and the underlying message are similar in all genres, that being expression and mood in the way you intend to tell the story visually. Depending on your personality and outlook on life, you will make your choice. To be successful at this, you will also require an eye for detail and composition, so you need to be switched on at all times in order that no moment is missed. It is those natural moments that occur in that split second that you need to capture, as these are the images that portray what street photography is all about. It is the real stuff that makes an impact, not those that are posed for the shot.

Having the eye for creative and artistic street photography is different from that of a journalist, and again that also applies to one’s personality and intention. Should you have an introvert personality and prefer to work alone, then I would suggest the creative avenue of research and planning your shoot and subject, taking time of day, lighting and background into consideration. This would not apply to the war correspondent or photojournalist; whose main intention is to capture the story for news where the subject is based on an assignment. So, to conclude, there are many options to choose from when pursuing this genre.

Advantages to becoming a Photojournalist

As mentioned, personality is a major part of the job. There are many photographers out there who enjoy current affairs and being on the frontline of what’s happening around us. You will have the opportunity to travel and experience situations and circumstance that most people never get to do, meet people from all walks, and be nonjudgmental to all sides of a story in times of peace and times of war. The danger factor often exists and is something that needs to be taken into consideration. You need to be alert and always be ready to travel to capture the story. A good photojournalist is the one that gets there first to capture the footage, remember news travels fast and is forever changing. If you intend to make a good income, this is not always the case. There are many reporters and photojournalists about reporting the same stories from different media channels. However, if you enjoy the so-called adrenalin rush and this kind of lifestyle of being on the move and capturing such stories, it is a great genre to follow, just be careful as what you see and experience can later mess with your head.

Advantages to becoming a Portrait Photographer

This is a more relaxed, yet involved form of photography. You need to understand how to read light and how to incorporate this as a main factor when you adjusting the settings on your camera. Snapping away in automatic on your mobile or another such device is fun, but be certain that you are missing out. Understanding your camera settings in manual mode and being comfortable reading light, or working with artificial light is key to capturing a great portrait. It is the light and the depth of field that will make or break a portrait. Understand the with street photography there is fashion- styled clean portraiture, and there is your more contrasted look. If you have a story or a vision that you want to create visually and not sure how to do this, my suggestion is that you invest in attending a short-tailored workshop or course on how to use your camera in manual as well as understanding how light works. This will change your life, and let e say it will become addictive. Again, personality takes preference in this, as shooting strangers involves introductions which are not always welcoming. From a financial angle, good portraiture has reached the walls of many galleries and publications, from both artistic to commercial usage. It you are this person, have fun and start taking pictures with a meaning and a story.

What Camera Gear is required for General Street Photography

This will depend once more on what you are shooting and if it be for private or commercial intention. In both instances, there are a few common tools that you will need in your bag in order to be quick on the draw and to not miss the moment, as well as be in a position to travel lightly and be flexible in selecting the right lens of the shot, likewise where Speedlight’s or flash heads are involved.  Just so you are aware, there are many camera setups available on the market, as well as portable lighting that is not only cost effective but also portable to meet your needs. May I suggest a hardy intermediate camera body that will handle a few knocks and a perhaps a drizzle will be a perfect choice. Remember, it is the lens that makes a good photo, so if you are able to afford a professional lens, bite the bullet and spend the money. Lenses should last you forever and do not outdated like camera bodies, good glass remains good glass. My suggestion is to consider a portrait lens like a 24 -70, f2.8 option and a decent zoom like a 70-200 f2.8, that’s it. It is easy to carry and will not let you down. If the pocket is tight, opt for something like the 18-135 lens which has range and above average glass. For the cheaper option on a zoom lens, be careful in your choice and do your research, take into consideration, it is not how far it can zoom, but rather the quality of the image on the screen when you zoom in that counts. Finally, don’t walk around with a flashy camera bag as this is what certain elements look out for and you will soon be relieved of your gear, so rather be understated in the way you are perceived by others.

I trust that for all those out there photographers wanting to get into street photography in one form or another, you have found this helpful. I wish you all the best in reaching out and discovering your talents.