4 Tips to Improve Your Mobile Street Photography

mobile street photography

Whether you're an aspiring photopreneur or curious about photography, the best way to start is to start taking pictures with your mobile phone. Mobile phone technology has grown exponentially in the past decade, and its technology has surpassed the cameras from two decades ago.

Consider the iPhone 7. It has two 12-megapixel cameras. It has its own telephoto lens to add depth-of-field. Bokeh is definitely possible with the iPhone, in fact it's one of its highlighted features or capabilities.

The same thing can be said with Samsung phones and other Android phones. It's definitely possible to create stunning images with just your mobile phone.

Many Instagram photopreneurs started out with just their mobile phone. A DSLR camera is an expensive investment, but a camera? Everybody, especially in New York City, has either an iPhone or a variation of an Android phone.

All it takes is to create quality pictures. Understand basic composition. Shoot pictures in natural light. 

Capture human emotions, and most importantly tell a story.

candid photography

Street photography or candid photography is about capturing chance encounters in the street. It tries to find a compelling story and distills it in a still image. If you can master this technique, then you'll be on your way to building a commercial portfolio that you can use to start building your Instagram account.

More importantly, it's all about practice. Since most people carry a phone in their pockets, it's easy enough to pull out and start taking pictures of those dancing guys in the subway, or that guy dressed only in his underwear singing Sugar Ray's "Every Morning" with a ukele.

So keep your mobile phone on standby.

Here are 4 Tips that to Improve Your Mobile Street Photography

Tip #1: Constantly Keep Moving

The easiest among the street photography tips is to constantly keep moving.

Street photographers are never stagnant because if they were, they will never get good shots or images of what is going on around them. By going to and from places, a photographer will be able to familiarize himself with the environment and will eventually find good subjects to take.

Another basic tip in shooting street photos is to be like a boy scout: always ready.

street concert

A street photographer must be prepared to take shots because interesting subjects can appear anytime in the streets and to lose a chance to take them will be a big regret on his part.

Also, he must always be all set when it comes to his instruments such as his camera’s batteries, the flash or even the other lenses he needs in taking photos.

This is necessary as to avoid hassle or losing opportunities to take good images.

Tip #2: Be Prepared to Take Hundreds of Shots

There is a saying that goes a picture is worth a thousand words.

In this type of photography, therefore, there are hundred thousands of words being shot every single time a street photographer works. A single shot does not always guarantee a good one so it is important that he is prepared to take a hundred, just to be sure.

Perseverance and patience are good traits in street photography.

Tip #3: Take Candid Shots

Though in street photography, as mentioned earlier, a person is encouraged to take lots of pictures, it is not however enough that he takes them without reason.

The shots must always be remarkable – there must always be something new about the scene taken. Candid shots are always a favorite in street photography because they really depict the real stories of everyday life.

Also, be careful about your background for there might be elements that you do not intend to be included or there are factors that will confuse or destroy the essence of the photo itself.

Tip #4: Be Subtle as Possible

One of the most important street photography tips is to be as subtle as possible. A photographer must hide his camera because not all people appreciate having their photo taken.

Always keep a low profile.

black and white street photography

Do not use flash if not needed and turn off any beeping sound that the camera makes whenever one is shooting. Asking permission, though, can be done if necessary and if the photographer has the time to ask every single person that is involved in the shot. If a person got offended when his photo was taken, an apology must be done.

The key is to be always conscious of the feelings of others, because no matter how many artistic reasons he has, a photographer is still invading someone else’s privacy when he takes their picture.

Summary of Street Photography Advice

All in all, the most basic of the basics of street photography tips are the following:

Find a place where there are lots of events or where the surrounding is busy so that looking for subjects won’t be so difficult; to search for different elements in a shot such as irony, juxtaposition or different emotions; and lastly, to always be polite and ready.

Click responsibly and grab excellent street photography with your mobile phone. It's a fantastic way to get started as a photopreneur or to start learning photography.