Where to find inspiration for Street Photography?
Many times when you are in the streets looking for a picture you don’t know where to put your attention in.
Lots of things moving and happening around you and sometimes it is not easy to focus on what really interests you. In order to improve on this aspect I have gathered in this article some subjects, objects or ideas that we can use as focus-points to find inspiration for our photography.
The idea behind this is to make our photography journey more efficient, funny and enjoyable.
Inspiration ideas for photography
Here I bring a list of items that we can use as reference to find inspiration in photography. If you have more ideas, please send them to me by email and I will add them to the article; let’s make it collaborative: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Specific objects (bikes, cars…)
These are ideas that I gathered from my experience as a street photographer, but they can be actually used in any photographic style.
If you do portrait or landscape photography (specially urban landscape) most of the ideas mentioned above can be used as inspiration or as things you can incorporate in your photographic project to achieve a more unique and original artwork.
Define your photographic style
Having a lot of ideas about what to shoot sounds good, but there’s the risk of loosing focus and again finding ourselves lost in the bustle of the cities.
Because of this, my suggestion is to choose from 2 to 5 ideas or subjects and to work on them in every photography session.
You can select different topics every time you go out with your camera, but try to have in mind specific things to focus in. This will help you find your subjects easier, faster and hopefully you will get a more meaningful result.
Let’s analyse each of the ideas to see what can we get from each of them:
Find the inspiration in photography
People: My mum used to say: “There’s so many people, and every one is different”. For sure including people in your frame makes your pictures unique, not only because of the person, but because of the moments that happen are unique and cannot be replicated. People is the base of street photography and it will always be.
Contrasts: Playing with the light is another of the grounds of photography, and if you use it on a creative way it can make the difference. Dark and light areas can change how the spectator understands the photography and can be used to generate sensations, emotions or effects.
Moments & actions: Landscape photography is easily replicable; you just need to wait for similar conditions to happen and you can get that dreamy picture. However, situations where someone or something is performing an activity generate unique moments that could never happen again – or at least, not equally as they happened. If you get that shot, it will be unique forever and therefore original, don’t you agree?
Reflections: Putting your attention in reflections can be a way of capturing the reality but from an exceptional point of view. Usually, reflections somehow distort the image and the resultant images can be quite original, singular and challenging for the viewer. Don’t loose sight of glasses, puddles or any reflecting surface.
Animals: Even they are easier to photograph than humans, animals have a special charisma that can be perfectly used in street photography. Allan Schaller is one of the street photographers of the moment, and he has developed a couple of sub-projects within his portfolio that involves animals (dogs and pigeons). I recommend you to check his Instagram to understand what I mean: www.instagram.com/alan_schaller/
Buildings: Even I am not very fan of urban street photography based on buildings and sculptures, these can play a important part of our frames, as most of the time will have to be included in our pictures. Pay attention to the shapes, textures, height and forms that these huge structures can have. Include them wisely to add context and forms to your photographs.
Specific object (bikes, cars…): Similarly as with animals, specific objects that we can find in the streets can be included as part of a sub-project under our portfolio. Taking pictures of bikes, cars, rubbish bins or any other thing can sound dull at the beginning, but if you have some kind of passion and are able to get original and meaningful pictures, your dull project could evolve into a unique and valuable set.
Textures: In my opinion this one should be combined with other ideas mentioned above, but it is always good to keep an eye in the different surfaces, materials and textures that surround us. They can add to the photograph a specific sensation (freshness, antiquity, coldness…) and are specially more visual when developing the pictures in black and white.
Where do you look for when you are shooting?
I hope you found this article interesting and I will be happy also to learn from you. Feel free to contribute to the article through the contact form below!
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