Street Life: Tips For Successful Street Photography


Street Life: Tips For Successful Street Photography

The camera doesn’t make the photographer

It isn’t important which device you use to take your photos. Of course a reflex camera is the professional choice but you need to know how to set it and it is also heavy to bring around with you. On the other hand compact cameras can do the job but they are often too slow, so sometimes you can miss your target. As for my experience I sometimes use my smartphone for readyspontaneous
shots that I share on my Instagram account, as they are perfect for social media.

MelanieGalea aka theStreetMuse_1

Monitor a (perfect) location

I have my favorite spots in every city I travel to, often when I find a perfect spot I hang out there for a while to study the people passing by. Doing that I have also the chance to set the shot and the camera so when the right person passes by I have maximum chance to capture it. Light and shadows are your best friends I don’t like wandering around with too much equipment, flash included. So I always relay on natural light to give that extra touch to my photos. Usually the best moments of the day to shoot are early morning an late afternoon, anyhow you can pay attention to where the shadows are falling and take advantage of them for a more dramatic result.

MelanieGalea aka theStreetMuse_5

Before shooting, ask for permission

Not everyone is pleased when approached by someone that wants to photograph them, now try to imagine their reaction if they that find out that someone is shooting them without even asking! You always have to respect people’s privacy, so if you spot a stranger that look interesting ask him/her to take a portrait. In that case you won’t annoy them and also have the chance to meet new people, in many cases I had the fortune to transform them in beautiful friendships.

MelanieGalea aka theStreetMuse_3

Make sure to have your camera always with you

You never know when the right person passes by, there are those perfect moments in street photography that need to be seized, and that’s possible only if you have your camera always with you. It will be even more ease to take spontaneous shots. Think at your camera as an extension of yourself and also you need to practice to master photography, that’s why I recommend to exercise every time you can in order to take the perfect shot in those decisive moments.

MelanieGalea aka theStreetMuse_2

Look for interesting details

Add personality to your photos including a cool background: interesting elements can be found in every city corner and are perfect to add interest to the portrait. Study and browse your work. Your own work is the most important asset you have to improve. Even during the ultra-demanding fashion weeks, I always find the time to check my photos in order to select immediately what to keep and what to toss, but also to see what to change and how I can get better. You never stop learning and looking attentively to your images you can capture details or patterns that
can inspire you to create a series of images or transform them into your identifying marks.

MelanieGalea aka theStreetMuse_4

Be careful about retouching

Street photography is all about reality, so an over-processed image can be counterproductive and confuse your followers. I try to be the less invasive as possible, editing for example the skin only if necessary or the background in case it is too intrusive compromising the quality of the image.

Relax and have fun!

At the end of the day what really matters is to enjoy and love what you do: creativity flows where the passion lives, so every time you’re out shooting remember why you’re doing this and embrace your inner good vibes and the ones that surround you. Also, the people around you will feel it and you can also set their mood positively, because happiness is contagious. Your photography will benefit from it as the mood you’re in will always be reflected in your work. So relax, wear a big smile and be ready for what’s ahead!


Photographer, creative talent and fashion influencer based in Italy. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and visit her website here.


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