Shoot in series.
Sometimes it can be quite challenging to just go out and shoot without a purpose. Narrow your vision and shoot project base or in series.
Photographer’s like Vivian Maier, William Eggleston, and Martin Parr are the photographers I admire and get inspired from. Recently, I would walk around the streets having a set of series already in the back of my mind such as,
Mundane Series (Inspired by William Eggleston),
Portrait or urban street scenes (Inspired by Vivian Maier),
and Beach photo Irony and Humor (Martin Parr). All in all, this should help you narrow your vision and sense of purpose when you’re out on the streets with your camera.
Shoot by Location & Time.
Try a weekly challenge or maybe even a monthly challenge, where you would only photograph in a particular area at the same specific time of the day. Again, this exercise is similar to the one above, it’s to narrow your vision to give you a clearer path when shooting street photography. For example, for one week try only shooting at the beach during your lunch break or during sunset. At different times of the day within that location you’ll be sure to photograph very different and dynamic photos.
Hit the Refresh Button.
You ever feel like you’re being burnt out at work, or that you’ve gotten too comfortable, maybe complacent in your environment, and all you can think about is a nice two week vacation to getaway and hit the refresh button. This can happen in street photography too. No matter your obsession on snapping photos of everyday life, sometimes it’s good to put the camera down and detox. Come back with fresh perspectives and a new sense of purpose.
Take Risks and Make Mistakes.
You’ll only learn if you pursue. That life is a lot more about trial and error and learning from mistakes. Try different styles, genres, angles, lenses, approach to street photography and see which one best suits you. Try to work out of your comfort zone, you’d be surprise how much talent, skills, natural ability, and confidence you’ve had all along within you.
Shoot with a Specific Lens.
First you shouldn’t be carrying more than one lens when your out on the streets. Just carry one (preferably a prime) lens (28mm-50mm). This will only make you a better photographer because you can’t rely on a zoom to get up close and personal and forces you to adjust focal length with your own two feet. With those limitations, your more likely to expound creatively and seek other options to get the best shot. Shoot with a specific lens at a time, try it as a weekly challenge and move on to the next.
Research your Favorite Street Photographer’s Work.
The objective here is not to mimic another street photographer’s work but to seek inspiration and to give yourself new perspectives. Pay attention to their composition, lighting, and their story telling. Immerse yourself in their works via books, or their online works, and see what you like or do not like about them with the intentions to eventually adding your own touch to the photos you create. We all tend to come across…”How can I create a photo that has never been created before?” My personal opinion is as long as your photo represents who you are as a person and your values but also how you see the world then that’s what makes your photo innovative in itself.