Are You A Street Photography Novice?
Street Photography Novice – How To Get Super Inspired
We all need inspiration. Especially at the beginning of our
Novice street photographers need inspiration more than newbies in
other fields of photography.
When you start your hobby as a street photographer, you need as many ideas as you can get.
You ask many questions and wish that someone can answer all your questions.
But street photography is a lonely pursuit.
I mean, street shooters tend to work alone. You’ll get more work done if you work alone than when you’re part of a group.
This is why street photography novices need more inspiration than others.
I know because this happened to me.
When I was just starting out I knew what I wanted to do.
But I didn’t know how to do it.
Or when to do it.
In street photography it is also very important to know where to do it.
The good news is that you can shoot street photography wherever you
Whether you live in New York, London or Paris. You can also enjoy
street photography in small towns, such as Oshkosh, (USA), Kapunda
(South Australia) or Hendrina (South Africa).
Another good thing about street photography is that you don’t need
advanced and expensive equipment to start shooting.
As I indicated in my earlier blog post, you can use any camera that you have to start practising your street photography.
Practice makes perfect, they say. And that’s exactly what you need to do.
We get inspiration from our actions. So if it’s inspiration you need, start acting. In this case, start shooting.
Perhaps you’ve been practising or shooting for some time now but still
are not happy with your results. Street photographers are seldom
satisfied with their own work.
And that’s good.
But if you really feel that you need more inspiration to improve your work, it’s about time you start looking elsewhere.
Street Photography Novice – How To Get Super Inspired
In this blog post I’m going to share with you how I super-charge my creative juices. You’ll also learn how you can get inspiration from various resources that are available online. But most importantly, I want you to remember that your biggest source of inspiration is yourself.
Your Biggest Source Of Inspiration Is Yourself
Yes, everything begins with you. You’re the catalyst in this game. You make things happen when you grab your camera and go out to shoot. Street photography is not an armchair activity. You need to go out and take or make some photos. If you do that regularly you’ll be inspired to produce astonishing work.
How And Where I Get Inspiration
I don’t expect you to derive inspiration from the same resources that I rely upon to recharge my batteries. But I’m sharing these with you to show that I’m also human.
When I started shooting the streets I so desperately needed information about this craft but did not know where to find it. So I just grabbed my DSLR and went to town. I started shooting the machine-gun-style hoping to get some useful shots. Soon I realized this was not working.
At about the same time I stumbled upon Valerie Jardin’s Street Focus podcast. I learned most of what I know about street photography from that podcast. When Valerie moved over to start her new show Hit The Streets With Valerie Jardin I followed her. I still listen to this podcast every week.
There are other street photography podcasts that I find inspiring, such as StreetPX and Street Photography Magazine.
As most of you guys know, I’m hugely inspired by Eric Kim. I read his blog religiously and consume his eBooks to learn as much as I possibly can from this most prolific street shooter. I can’t thank Eric enough for his generous spirit and vast knowledge of street photography which he shares free of charge on his website.
Last but definitely not least, I get enthralled by watching John Free’s Video Tutorials. I just love this old man’s passion for photography and his entertaining style of teaching. Perhaps I like him so much because I see myself in him.
No, I’m not at Mr Free’s age. I’m 56 years old and younger than this theatrical master shooter. But I imagine myself at his age and think: ‘That’s what I’ll be doing when I reach that stage in my life.’
How To Get Super Inspired
Sources Of Inspiration
I believe that you’re your own source of inspiration. You are naturally inspired to shoot street photography. Shooting the streets is the one thing that makes you happy. It helps you relax. It soothes your soul and releases all your creative juices.
But once in a while you may feel flat like a punctured tyre. Or feel enthusiasm ebbing away from your system.
This is when you really need a push. This is when you want somebody to hold you by the hand and say: ‘let’s do this.’
Grab an eBook.
Start with an eBook.
I’m writing this blog post thinking about novice or newbie street shooters. As a beginner, I suggest you get yourself a copy of Valerie Jardin’s eBook:
Street Photography: First Steps And Beyond. Read more about it here.
Follow your favourite street photographer on Twitter. Start with this account and see what they post and what they say about their work. You can even connect with them and ask some questions. They’ll be only too glad to help.
Choose an Instagrammer
Most of your favourite street photography practitioners are also on Instagram. Follow them there and study their work. Don’t copy what they do. Just watch and learn. Something in the work of this instagrammer might trigger a spark in you. It might inspire you to go out and shoot.
Attend a Workshop
If you can afford to go to Amsterdam in July, do yourself a big favour and book a workshop with VICE. Or look for street photography workshops in your town or city. Workshops can open your mind to new possibilities.
Join or organise a photo walk in your area. If there are no street photographers in your neighbourhood, go it alone. Yes, do this yourself. Just grab your camera and take a walk. Don’t expect to come back with tons of images. But do it.
Observe and talk to people. Approach strangers and start a small talk with them. You’ll soon realise that most people are actually friendly.
If you don’t want to talk to anyone, no problem. I understand.
We get inspiration from different sources. Some get inspired by attending street photography workshops. Others get their creative juices flowing after reading a good book or watching a video tutorial.
What inspires you? How do you super-charge your batteries? What advice or tips would you give a street photography novice?
Whatever floats your boat, please share it with me in the comments section below.
Till next time,