10 April 2018

Photographing Street Photographers

Street photography is photography conducted for art that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places. "The (street) photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes. Adept of the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flâneur finds the world picturesque..." (acc. to Susan Sontag). Framing and timing can be key aspects of the craft with the aim of some street photography being to create images at a decisive or poignant moment.

Street photography does focus on people and their behavior in public. This motivation entails having also to navigate or negotiate changing expectations and laws of privacy, security and property. In this respect the street photographer is similar to social documentary photographers or photojournalists who also work in public places, but with the aim of capturing newsworthy events.

There are two different types of street portraits, (i) interactive (aka "posed") street portraits, and (ii) so-called candid (aka "natural") street portraits (read more: Making Decisions in Tamil Nadu). Both types of street portraiture are interesting in my opinion and can produce awesome results. However, I prefer interactive street portraits.

matt hahnewald photography; facing the world; real; live; aesthetic; head; facial expression; camera; sony alpha 7s; mirrorless; dirty; both hands; consent; rapport; fun; concept; lifestyle; hobby; goodtime; impact; equity; chinese new year; photographer; yaowarat; chinatown; bangkok; thailand; asia; asian; thai; one person; female; young; woman; photography; image; photo; nikon d3100; nikkor af-s 50mm f/1.8g; prime lens; 50mm; 4x3; horizontal; street; portrait; closeup; head shot; cropped; full-face view; outdoor; color; cool; iconic; awesome; incredible; authentic; positive; beautiful; attractive; charming; fabulous; photographing; taking photo

matt hahnewald photography; facing the world; real; live; aesthetic; character; head; face; eyes; beautiful eyes; laughing eyes; mouth; teeth; lips; lipstick; facial expression; eye contact; consent; travel; lifestyle; beauty; style; cultural; chinese new year; yaowarat; chinatown; bangkok; thailand; asia; thai; asian; one person; female; young; woman; photographer; photography; image; photo; backdrop; face perception; physiognomy; nikon d3100; nikkor af-s 50mm f/1.8g; prime lens; 50mm; 4x3; horizontal; street; portrait; closeup; head shot; tight crop; two-third view; sideways glance; red; outdoor; color; posing for camera; awesome; incredible; smiling; positive; beautiful; attractive; charming; fabulous

matt hahnewald photography; facing the world; real; live; head; camera; dslr camera; lens; hat; conical hat; sun hat; rice hat; asian hat; paddy hat; body language; both hands; hand; finger; candid; concept; travel; culture; lifestyle; cultural; roadside; urban; photographer; hanoi; vietnam; asia; asian; vietnamese; one person; male; adult; young; man; photography; image; photo; canon; nikon d3100; nikkor afs 50mm f1.8g; prime lens; 50mm; 4x3; horizontal; street; portrait; half length portrait; closeup; three quarter view; outdoor; sunlight; sun; color; awesome; incredible; authentic; determined; photographing; taking photo; snapshot

matt hahnewald photography; facing the world; real; live; aesthetic; character; head; face; eyes; teeth; facial expression; eye contact; squinting against sun; hat; sun hat; rice hat; asian hat; paddy hat; consent; fun; concept; travel; tourism; culture; lifestyle; optimism; goodtime; urban; roadside; photographer; hanoi; vietnam; asia; vietnamese; asian; one person; male; adult; young; man; photography; image; photo; face perception; physiognomy; nikon d3100; nikkor afs 50mm f1.8g; prime lens; 50mm; 4x3; horizontal; street; portrait; closeup; head shot; three quarter view; outdoor; sunlight; sun; color; posing for camera; cool; iconic; awesome; incredible; authentic; smiling; feeling good; positive


Some ideas for shooting interactive street portraits:

  • Find adequate background and good lighting.
  • Be selective and be patient.
  • Be yourself and be congruent.
  • Get involved, build rapport and talk to people.
  • Get consent for both (i) the image and (ii) the internet.
  • Stay with the subject matter.
  • Look for contrasts and contradictions.
  • Take simple photographs.
  • Vary views and angles.
  • Get in closer.
  • Make the subject feel comfortable.
  • Reduce camera shake and shoot 1/250s or shorter.
  • Shoot in aperture-priority mode or in manual mode.
  • Use single-point auto focus and aim on the eye which is closest to you.
  • Offer your email address and the URL of your website.

Anyway, street photographers who take candid photographs are fair game; candid photographs of them are the exceptions that proves my rule of taking interactive aka posed street portraits...

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50 mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; headshot; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street portrait; depth of field; bokeh; outdoor; colour; colourful; character; real people; human; human head; human face; male; holding Nikon DSLR camera with telephoto lens; candid; encounter; environmental portrait; phototourism; travel; travel portrait; travel destination; international; Nepal; Bhaktapur; Asia; street photographer; Chinese man; one person; adult; incredible; determined; focused; Chinese male photographer; facial expression; equipment; camouflage outfit; camouflage cap; uniform; photographing; snapping; shooting; taking a photo; both hands; amateur

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50 mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street portrait; depth of field; bokeh; outdoor; colour; colourful; character; real people; human; human head; human face; female; holding Canon DSLR camera with telephoto lens; candid; encounter; environmental portrait; phototourism; travel; travel portrait; travel destination; international; Nepal; Bhaktapur; Asia; street photographer; Chinese woman; one person; adult; incredible; determined; focused; Chinese female photographer; photographing; snapping; shooting; taking a photo; both hands; amateur

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50 mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; headshot; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street portrait; depth of field; bokeh; outdoor; colour; colourful; character; real people; human; human head; human face; male; holding Canon DSLR camera with telephoto lens; candid; encounter; environmental portrait; phototourism; travel; travel portrait; travel destination; international; Nepal; Bhaktapur; Asia; street photographer; Chinese man; one person; adult; incredible; determined; focused; Chinese male photographer; eyeglasses; cap; facial expression; equipment; photographing; snapping; shooting; taking a photo; both hands; amateur

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50 mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street portrait; outdoor; colour; colourful; character; real people; human; human head; street photographer; female; holding Canon DSLR camera with telephoto lens; candid; encounter; environmental portrait; phototourism; travel; travel portrait; travel destination; international; China; Pingyao; Shanxi Province; Asia; old Japanese woman; one person; adult; incredible; determined; focused; Japanese female photographer; brick wall; white baseball cap; grey hair; photographing; snapping; shooting; taking a photo; both hands; amateur

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50 mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street portrait; depth of field; bokeh; outdoor; colour; colourful; character; real people; human; human head; male; holding DSLR camera with telephoto lens; candid; encounter; environmental portrait; phototourism; travel; travel portrait; travel destination; international; Nepal; Bhaktapur; Asia; street photographer; Chinese man; one person; adult; incredible; determined; focused; Chinese male photographer; fat neck; eyeglasses; short hair; crew cut; back of the head; back portrait; photographing; snapping; shooting; taking a photo; both hands; amateur


More portrait photographs with complete exif data, geotags and other specs in Matt Hahnewald's