Common Mistakes Street Photographers Make

As a street photographer, capturing everyday life’s candid and spontaneous moments can be very rewarding, but it’s not a photography genre without challenges. Some of the mistakes below are very frequent and can ruin your shots or overall experience.

1. No planning before leaving for a session

For some, Street Photography may look like just grab your camera, go outside and start taking shots. Although partially true, having an idea of what you want to achieve, planning your route, types of subjects you want to photograph, can help you have a clear starting point instead of dozens of badly planned random shots. Keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that opportunity shots are great for Street Photography, but having at least some plan will help you be less frustrated and hopefully get better photos.

2. Impatience

To be fair, this could be the tip number one: be patient. Street photography requires a significant amount of patience. Most of the time, your best shot won’t happen just a few minutes after you find a location. Sometimes you may need to wait for minutes or even hours for the right opportunity or specific light/angle of a subject. That’s also why planning stayed as my number 1 tip, so you can choose the right spot and wait.

3. No Situational Awareness

We need to be constantly aware of our surroundings as Street Photographers, not only as it can provide us with great opportunities for photos, but it is also important to ensure we’re not putting ourselves or others into any kind of harm or dangerous situations, such as bumping into people, being run over by a car, falling into some hole, and more.

4. Lack of Preparation

Street photography can be unpredictable, and you need to be prepared for a diverse range of situations and conditions. This means having the right equipment, such as a reliable camera and lens (I love carrying my Ricoh around, due to its portability, which means it’s always with me), as well as backup batteries and memory cards. It also means being prepared for different weather conditions and lighting scenarios, so you can adapt and capture the best possible shots.

5. Hesitation to Engage with Subjects

One of the hallmarks of great street photography is the ability to capture candid and engaging shots of people. However, some photographers may be hesitant to approach or interact with their subjects, which can lead to missed opportunities and less interesting images. Don’t be afraid to ask for permission or strike up a conversation with your subjects – this can often lead to more genuine and compelling shots. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can improve your street photography and capture more interesting and engaging images.

I hope some of those tips, although seemingly obvious, can help some of the new Street Photographers around!