How to be invisible in Street Photography

Street photography is such a challenging genre, different from others out there. It’s challenging because you interact with strangers and don’t know how they can react if they noticed that you’re taking a picture of them.

But one of the toughest challenges to face -since I started shooting street photography- is being invisible, blending in with the environment.

Nicolai-PT-southern-italy-2017-0001
Imperfection. Southern Italy, 2017

This a list of things I do to be ‘invisible’ while shooting street photography:

1. Don’t behave in a furtive manner

This means to not dress like a secret agent: with sunglasses, a hat, a long black impermeable and a long telephoto lens. Don’t move in a secretive manner, this will only make you stand out and make you look like a pervert.

2. Be a tourist

Tourists are everywhere and nobody is scared by tourist because tourists take photos.

You can be a tourist in a big foreign country and dress and behave like the local people to not stand out or you can be the typical tourist that takes photos of everything.

3. Shoot with a phone

Shoot with a phone instead of a big DSRL, be discrete. Phones are everywhere in our society. Everybody owns and walks with a phone so it’s easy to be unnoticed while shooting street photography.

A technique that I use with my phone is pretending that I’m taking a selfie while my camera is pointed on the other side.

nicolai-pt-hoyerswerda-germany-2016-6-01
Hoyerswerda, Germany 2016

4. Shoot from the hip

Shooting from the hip is holding the camera at waist-level and shooting without looking at the screen. With this technique people don’t assume that I’m shooting them. While shooting from the hip, I often get a more interesting perspective.

5. Get closer

If you get closer to people, especially in a crowded area, you are less likely to be noticed. You can take photos of people right in front of you.

6. Move slower

Don’t take sudden movements, walk slowly toward your subject and don’t ‘jump’ in front of him.

Nicolai-Petito-southern-Italy-2017-0100
Southern Italy, 2017

7. Look behind your subjects

Don’t look straight into the eyes of your subjects, never make eye contact with your subjects, maybe look at something behind them. People will assume that you are taking a photograph of something else.

With this technique you can get as close as you want without being noticed.

8. Wear dark colthes

Wear clothes that don’t stand out and blend with the people around you. I recommend to wear dark clothes, because the more vibrant the colors of your clothes are, the more you stand out.

9. Be yourself

At the end shoot street photography in according to your own style. Approach the streets in according to your personality.

nicolai-pt-southern-italy2016-00
Southern Italy, 2016
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5 Comments

  1. Hi Nicolai – I enjoyed your tips on Street Photography. Most of my street photography is about the physical environment in which people live and move. Perhaps now I will have the courage to include the people as well! Thank you for following my blog. Des.

    Liked by 1 person

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