Most of us are very good at making excuses: it’s too cold / hot / wet; I’m too tired; I’m too busy; I can’t spend a whole day doing street photography; my wife / husband won’t be happy, etc etc. We can all find a good reason not to go out and shoot. But maybe we’re putting too much pressure on ourselves. Is it really that difficult?
Don’t see street photography as a pursuit which consumes huges amounts of time. Instead, get into the habit of believing that it can be something which can be slotted into your daily routine: on the daily commute, walking the dog, during a lunch break, on your way to the restaurant, picking up the shopping . . . and so on.
And you don’t need a memory card full of amazing images to show for it. Taking just a couple of shots – even if they don’t turn out to be keepers, will help ensure your tuned-in, working on your observational skills and thinking about composition. Believe me, it’s all time well spent.
Try looking back over some of your images – particularly those you are less satisfied with – and analyse areas for improvement; it could be your timing (perhaps you hesitated or were rushed), it could be poor composition, bad lighting or maybe just dull subject matter. This is why I never rush to delete all my ‘duffers’ – they can help me learn from my mistakes. If you do this for long enough, you’ll probably notice some common threads, and these can form your areas for development or improvement. Spending just a few minutes every day or two on these areas will help refine your street photography techniques.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that street photography, like any form of photography, needs practice. This may not be blindingly obvious but it’s true. Musicians practice their art every single day in order to improve but, for some reason, most photographers don’t feel the need to do so. Well, we do.
So get into good habits and see every time you walk out of your door an an opportunity to practice street photography. You’ll be well rewarded.