Avoid Drawing Attention To Yourself
To capture truly candid moments you need to be invisible… a fly on the wall. As a street photographer, you’ll want to blend in with the environment as best you can. Wear dark or neutral colored clothing to minimize how much you stand out in a crowd.
Naturally, you’ll be looking around for something to shoot, such as an interesting character or people interacting with their environment. Try not to make eye contact with your subjects as this can give away the fact that you’re planning to take their photo. Sometimes playing the role of tourist can provide a good disguise to shoot with abandon in well-known areas.
In less traveled spots, a good trick is to pretend that you’re shooting something directly behind your subject. If they’re already coming towards you, keep shooting after they pass by – as if you were unconcerned by them and only the imaginary subject that was behind them. They’ll normally be none the wiser.
Your camera can be a beacon that marks you out to people in an urban environment. If you have a large zoom lens, people tend to notice you straight away. A small prime lens will not only improve your street photography by getting you closer to your subject, but it’ll also help you be more inconspicuous.
DSLR cameras tend to be more noticeable due to the size of their bodies and also the loud “clack” that their mechanical shutters make. Mirrorless, Micro 3/4 and point-and-shoot cameras sometimes have an electronic shutter option which makes them virtually or completely silent. In addition to their smaller sizes, this can really help you remain anonymous when shooting.
Another way to keep your camera off the radar is to swap out the branded strap for a plain, dark colored one. This can help avoid any subject noticing your camera and has the added bonus of making your camera less obvious to any potential thieves. Some photographers even use a small strip of black tape to cover the logos on their camera bodies.
Shoot From The Hip
Shooting from the hip is a great way of taking street photos if you’re not yet confident enough to shoot through the viewfinder at eye level. This is especially effective if your camera has a tilting screen on the back. Simply hold the camera at hip level, or wherever the strap ends, compose the shot on the tilting screen and press the shutter when you see a moment. Even without the tilting screen, it can be interesting to see the images you create from this viewpoint.