6 Problems Every Street Photographer Faces

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Jennifer Berube
  By Jennifer Berube
6 Problems Every Street Photographer Faces www.sleeklens.com

Street photography is one of the most dynamic and interesting forms of photography out there. It is something that can really capture the world as it is. There is no posing, no special lighting, it is just capturing the world at that moment. The most interesting photos are the ones that are captured like this. The problem is that it takes a very special type of photographer to be able to capture street photos. You have to be outgoing, confident and very good at what you do.

For those who do street photography, it is rewarding and amazing. It is not always easy though, and there are always problems that a street photographer is going to run into. Understanding those problems, and working to keep them from becoming a major problem, can help your street photo project become even better.

Poor Location

There is the chance that when you go out to get photos of people on the street, you choose a poor location. If your location is empty of people, and there isn’t anything interesting there, your photos are not going to be interesting as well.

Being Afraid

It is not an easy thing to go up to someone and ask them to take their picture at random. You may feel shy, or even afraid, so that can impede you from getting the photos you want. You should never let this push you away from getting photos. You should always make sure you push yourself and try to get the photo and talk to that person. Don’t let fear limit you.

Other People

The biggest part of street photography are the people, but some people are going to be wary of you getting their picture. If you are not going to talk to the person, then just be as subtle as you can with your photography but don’t be rude about it. Make yourself look like the photographer you are and people will be much more apt to trust you. Don’t look dodgy or creepy and don’t hide to get your photos.

Some people may not want their photo taken. If they confront you, then all you have to do is apologize, explain what you are doing, and offer to delete the photo from your camera. This will show you have nothing to hide and you understand that they are angry about the picture. Work with people, never against them, with street photography.

People Stop Doing What They’re Doing

When you have the confidence to get the shot, you may find that the person stops doing what they were doing for the shot. Maybe they walk out of the frame, maybe they see you and just freeze up. It is important to just be subtle, but understanding, and move on if you have to because your photo may not work out and there will always be other photos down the road and later in the day. Try to also plan what your subject is going to do, and where they will enter the shot, so you will be ready when the moment comes for you.

It is important to understand that there may not be a decisive moment for you. You may be waiting for a while for that moment but that moment may not come. If it doesn’t, move on and just get another shot when you can.


You may start to worry that you will never get that shot. You may want that perfect shot that will never come. All you can do here is stop worrying and take as many photos as you can. The more you take, the more chance you have at getting that perfect photo you have been hoping for. Don’t be afraid to use dozens, or even hundreds, of photos on one subject. Just start getting photos and don’t stop until you are satisfied.

Incorrect Exposure

On the same note as before, you may get those quick shots, but that could end up being a poorly exposed picture, or one that is out of focus. Try to have your camera ready before you start shooting and get some preview photos if you can. Just a small bit of planning ahead can ensure that you get the pictures that you want, and that they are not going to turn out poor or out of focus. It is always best to take that extra time to do it right.

Street photography is a great way to get your name out there as a photographer and it is a great way for you to get some really amazing shots. Work hard at it, don’t be afraid and don’t let any of these things keep you from achieving your dream of being a street photographer.

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Jennifer Berube
Jennifer Berube is a freelance writer and photographer with a background in journalism. She contributes regularly to PictureCorrect.com and enjoys writing about all things arts!

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