5+1 tips to find inspiration in street photography
How many times I feel tired and I don’t have any motivation to go out for street photography. Especially in this time during covid-19 pandemic with empty streets and people’s faces always covered by masks. A lot of times I’m dissatisfied with my street photography, I criticize myself, my pictures, my style, the way I shoot and how I try to approach people. These are the worst moments, when I have no motivation and I don’t want to go out for a street photography session. I try to find a way to get out from the crisis giving to myself some rules to follow.
1. GET OUT FROM HOME AND TAKE PICTURES
In other words practice, practice, practice. This is the first best advice I can give you to improve your street photography and stay always inspired. Theory is important but practice is the only way to produce something, to learn on the streets, to make errors and to succeed (or fail). How many times I stay at home thinking, or better fantasizing, about wonderful pictures I could take. Sometimes I think how I could conquer fear on the streets or how I could change my style. I think to present, past and future, think, think but at the end of the day I haven’t new photos; same for the day after… Best solution? Get out from home, take pictures, fail, succeed, try, create… I feel much better when I practice street photography because I’m almost trying to do something. As Bruce Gilden said “if you don’t try you’ll fail for sure”. Do you ever ask yourself why street photography is so difficult? Of course: fail, laziness, fear, time…
As I said before theory is also an important aspect. Study great masters of street photography but also contemporary photographers. In this sense Instagram could be a good place to learn and to inspire yourself. I wrote a lot of articles about street photography and art in general because in my opinion you can find inspiration and learn something looking at paintings, cinema and street art. Theory is important almost as practice. If you can try to study every single day.
3. TAKE PICTURES WITH OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS
A real blessing. In my opinion It’s really important to do street photography sessions with other photographers. Why? Inspiration of course: different styles, ideas, equipments. If you don’t want go out because you are lazy and bored you could find motivation doing that other street photographers. Compare yourself with other artists is always important and really useful. A lot of photographers, but also painters, worked together; I’m thinking for example to Van Gogh and Gauguin or Garry Winongrand with Papageorge…
4. TAKE PICTURES FOR YOURSELF
Do not photograph to please others or to follow a popular trend on Instagram. Do not photograph to sell photos, to become famous or to win a contest. I know today with social media and digital it is really difficult to take pictures for yourself. You have to follow your instinct photographing what you really like and feel. In this way you can express yourself through your art and stay inspired and motivated. As Martin Scorsese once said “the most personal is also the most creative”. Do not monetize your art, your brain is not for sale. Start to do things for yourself at first…
Try new techniques and styles: use flash, use wide angle but also tele lens, shoot at night and day, shot from the hip or from the head, shoot without looking in the viewfinder. Interact with people or get close without being noticed. Try to photograph what really scares you because sometimes, as Eric Kim said, if you are afraid probably you want to photograph it. Sometimes you can find a new way to make good pictures by accident, experimenting different things in street photography. When you study (Tip n.2) other artists you discover new approaches, ideas and techniques; well when in practice try to do by yourself what you’ve learnt at home from other great masters.
5+1: GET LOST
Be involved in street photography 24/7, thinking always to this beautiful art. Get lost in what you do with your camera, street photography must become as food and sleep, essential in your life. Practice and theory every day, always.
That’s all folks
Stay well, have always light in your life