How to become a street photographer?

Question by NiNes: How to become a street photographer?
I would like to take pictures of cities, towns, etc… but the problem is… I don’t know where to start. For example whats the best affordable camera used to take those traditional pictures and how to angle my self to make a perfect shot, Where can I take classes and such? thanks

Best answer:

Answer by MixedMojo
First step, buy a camera. Second step, go into the city and take pictures. That’s as good a start as any. You can take courses in photography at any college that offers them, usually if they’ve got a substantial art department, or you can try for specialty schools like the Art Institutes. I can tell you right off the bat, if you ask for classes in “street photography” they’ll look at you upside down as there aren’t any. Street photography is a style, not neccessarily a technique that can be learned in a classroom. Generally, colleges that do programs in photography offer classes in commercial or studio photography that are geared more toward mainstream or industry standard photographers. There can be a wealth of knowledge that can be gained, but you’ll have to develop your own style, like most other photographers. But, the first step is to go and take as many photographs as it takes to get comfortable with doing street photography. It’s a very broad style that ranges from architectural, people, candids, to some photojournalism. So be aware.

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5 thoughts on “How to become a street photographer?”

  1. Not knowing where you live, it’s hard to answer. For taking classes there must be a college or a photography school where you can take a basic class in photography. When you take a class, you’re instructor will advise you regarding a camera. There are also continuing education classes in high schools and colleges where you can find a photography class. What about a local YMCA? You can look in the classified ads for a class in photography.
    I’m very visual and I started taking pictures with a cheap old camera of my parents. Later I bought an old used 35mm camera from someone who I worked with. I took a class in photography that I saw advertised in the classified ads of a newspaper. Then, I worked on my own shooting and developing photos. I created a darkroom in my apartment. Later I got away from photography but still took photos for work. When I had to do field work, I used to take some photographs in case I would miss something. Then, I went back to college to get a degree and took a class in photography. It was great! I loved it.
    I don’t know if you want a film camera or a digital camera. I don’t even know if you know what you want. Maybe you should just start with some kind of automatic camera and just run around shooting pictures. You probably don’t even know what a good picture looks like. I had people in Yahoo answers judge a photo that I took. To my surprise those who judged it didn’t even have a clue. It’s an award winning photo that is going to be published in a coffee table type of book and it was unbelievable the kind of comments I received from people. If you want to take good photos then you have to go to school and learn from an instructor. You have to learn about your camera and what you can do with it and you need to learn about composition. I’ve been on and off into photography for years. I have a BA in Art and I’m still learning about composition.
    If you want to take pictures, just do it. You have to start somewhere. You’re not going to take great photos in the beginning but you will learn by doing. Good luck and I hope you one day become a great photographer.

  2. As far as cameras are concerned, go to a store and play with the cameras and find one that is right for you. Then just start shooting. Get as much feedback as possible from other people through photo groups, etc. Study other street photography to see what sells.

  3. The first step is not buying a camera. Street photography is hard to get into, so it would be a shame to spend a thousand dollars on a camera and gear come to find out this is not for you.

    My first suggestion would be to take some classes on photography. Whether it be in high school, college, or just reading in your spare time. Once you read and understand the actual camera, you still need to know what goes into a good photograph. Such as composition, rule of thirds, color, lighting, emphasis, direction, movement, and many others. These are just a few.

    When you are in this learning stage, I would suggest buying either a film SLR camera, or a cheap digital point and shoot with a manual mode on it. A film SLR would be best for creative quality.

    Once you decide if this is not for you, then get a camera. If you still want to stick with film, stick with film. If you like the digital aspect, go digital. My first suggestion would be a digital SLR, not a point and shoot.

    Digital SLR cameras offer better quality, better images, stronger build, better selection of lenses, short shutter lag, fast burst rates, and fast shutter speed and startup. Basically, the cheapest DSLR is better than the most expensive digital point and shoot.

    Some great entry and prosumer model cameras are the Nikon D40, Nikon D80, or Canon 40D.

    I will suggest some camera lenses as well. For architecture, you’ll need a wide angle lens. The wider the better, especially on a digital cropped body. What this means, is that a traditional wide angle lens, say a 28mm, is now somewhere around a 50mm. Not so good for architecture, but good enough. Like I said, wide is good, but wider is better. So, you might look for a zoom, like the kit 18-55mm. 18mm meaning wide angle, and 55mm meaning moderate focal length. But, I would stay away from the Canon version, and all Canon kit lenses and cheaper lenses, just on the fact that their quality is not so hot. Though, their L series is really amazing. A 19-35mm is great as well.

    Also, for cities and urban areas, look for the widest aperture you can find. Something around f4, or f2.8. f2.8 is wider. A wide aperture will all you to more easily take images at night, without the use of a tripod, or a slower shutter speed.

    Hope this helped.

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