No Zoom Lenses
Shoot with a prime lens. Either a 28mm, 35mm which I have been shooting with for the past 3 years, or a 50mm. I prefer the 35mm I feel its the perfect focal length or distance of what the naked eye see. 50mm is a little bit too close and 28mm a little bit too wide. Also factor in your shooting style. If you like getting close to your subjects or snap as you walk within inches of your subject then possibly 28mm is your lens. If you like being further back to capture your moments then 50mm might be your go to lens. Try it all and see which one fits you best. Once you shoot a good year with one, you will know the lens and the distance you will need to be from your subject at the snap of your fingers. My advice is to stick with one focal length for at least 2 years. Another food for thought everything happens so quickly on the streets that your instincts are probably your best friend and not your gear. Fiddling with a zoom lens on the street will only make you miss the shot and look like a creep.
Shoot P Mode
When your out shooting the main thing to have is no distractions. P Mode for me works the best because you can still control your iso ( I usually just set my iso anywhere from 400-1600) and let my camera dictate my shutter. You control your f stop, broad daylight just set your f stop between f8 – f13 and don’t touch it after that.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Again no distraction. If your feet is killing you after half an hour of walking then most likely you will be calling it a day. Wear comfortable shoes to avoid any setbacks and ultimately help you push through the day.
Have a Meal Before You Head Out
Fueling your body before hitting the streets is just as important as any of the tips I am going to give you. You do not want to think about food or where and what to eat after an hour of shooting. I have experienced this while on shooting on my lunch breaks and its proven to be ineffective shooting on an empty stomach that is. Because when you shoot on an empty stomach all you are thinking about is what to eat and where to eat and not focusing on being in the moment of shooting the streets.
If you don’t feel like shooting then don’t be forcing yourself to go out just to get a couple of shots in. All you will be doing is wasting your time and coming up empty handed. When I don’t feel like shooting or carrying my camera everywhere I go, I don’t. If I need to go run on errands or in a different state of mind other than observing and waiting for those photographic moments to happen, its usually best I go ahead and do just that. Worst case scenario if I do see something or come across an interesting moment I have my Samsung S8 with me.
Leave the Stress Behind
Dont carry any baggage with you when you go out to shoot. Leave all your stresses about life and work at the door. Shoot with a clear mind and zone out. We shoot to get away from reality and to enter into our element.
Don’t Think. Just Shoot.
Dont overthink anything on the street. If your instinct takes over, make the photo. Dont worry about if the shot is going to be a good photo or not you can worry about that later.
Don’t Have Expectations
Dont set expectations because you will be easily disappointed. 9 times out of 10 when you go out to shoot, you will end up empty handed. No goals and no expectations will only lead you to a happier state of mind. Just do what you love and keep at it. If your work is good, it wont be denied. Talent always rises above everything. Put in the effort and your hard work will pay off. Always look for ways to improve yourself.
Enjoy The Walk
Be in the moment and enjoy the fact that you are killing two birds with one stone. Photographing…and exercising. Burning calories while potentially create art. Doesn’t get better than that if you ask me. Another tip I would say from your walk is to take in and really observe things happening. I believe we are all immune to certain happenings or sightings out on the street such as homelessness, people leaving work miserable at the stop light, people in their cars stuck in traffic, etc. Observe those groups, look at their faces, situations, and remind yourself you’re lucky to be creating art solely for your soul.
Just have fun and shoot. Don’t worry about having good photos or having bad photos. Or wanting to please others with your photo. There are no such thing as a bad photograph. Just opinions. Shoot to get away from reality. Shoot to help digest life.