Let’s face it, the pandemic took a toll on our overall well-being and left many of us drained. Some street shooters I know have only recently gone out with intentions of shooting street. If you were on a street photography hiatus during quarantine and lock-down, view it as a positive step towards recharging your emotional batteries and coming back out shooting the streets with a fresh pair of eyes. If you’re having trouble finding where you last left off, then here are 5 ways to get your street photography groove back.
Just Press It
Just shut up and shoot! Or a more polite way in saying that, just press the shutter button. Regardless if you think it’s worthy of being an image or not, just click the shutter button. Main point of this suggestion is to get you in a groove and comfortable back on the streets. Sometimes you just need to loosen up any per-conceive tension and let loose by snapping that shutter button. If you wait for the right alignment or subject matter to enter your frame of shot, you may never click your shutter button and remain in your creative rut.
Try Something New
Do something you’ve never done in your street photography. Shoot wide angle. Use flash. Shoot low angle. Shoot extreme close ups. If you shoot predominately in color then shoot in black and white, and vice versa. Trying something new will force you out of your comfort zone and challenge your creative instincts. Don’t always rely on muscle memory to get you back into the flow of the streets. Despite the streets looking filled and almost back to “normal”, people are still adjusting being in public spaces. Most wear a face mask in public. The six feet social distancing rule is something to always consider and be respectful of.
Street photography like anything, needs practice. The more reps you put in, the better you become at it, and the better you become at it, your chances of making a great photo increases.
Celebrate Your Images
Our culture tends to only celebrate the winners. That also rings true in street photography, we celebrate the one’s the either received a lot of “likes” on social media or the one’s that made a finalist in a contest. Embrace photos of yours that resonate with you, not just the ones that are celebrated by others. I think it’s more important than ever post-pandemic that we give more appreciation and we embrace more of our own work. Not overly admiring of others in the field and wishing we were them or capture the images they’ve captured. Time to celebrate your own individuality.
I think connection is huge post-pandemic especially after a full year of zoom meetings and zoom virtual events. So one suggestion I have is to connect with other street photographers in your community. Meeting other street photographers in your area makes bonding much easier because of an existing shared interest based on things you both enjoy doing or talking about.
Another option is to make a street portrait of a stranger and stir up a conversation. People love being met with acknowledgment or respect. A quick chat with a stranger or a short bond with someone new can foster a sense of fulfillment. Taking a candid photo or portrait of someone and complimenting them afterwards with enthusiasm can kill most awkwardness between you the photographer and the subject/stranger. I mean how many times has a stranger ever given you a random compliment.
Watch Fill The Frame
Whether you are a street photography fan or not, I can guarantee one of the eight subjects in my documentary Fill The Frame will inspire you and you will be able to find connection with. Fill The Frame will inspire you to go out and take pictures in your area of public space.