Candid Street Photography

Candid street photography is perhaps my very favorite style when I am out in the streets. Anywhere I travel, I find myself drawn to the human element in the streets and I search for a human connection to create my photograph and my story.

I am often asked about the process of candid portraits and if I were to offer 7 tips it would be these:

  1. Take your time. Often and if the time allows, I try not to do any photography on my first day in a new place. Instead I try to feel the place, walk around, look, listen, observe, admire and investigate.
  2. Slow down. When I walk, I try not to feel any anxiety about having to capture anything. I wait for the inspiration to come to me because I have discovered that it cannot be forced, like all good things in life.
  3. Be polite. I always try to reverse the roles and see how I would feel if someone came at me with a camera aggressively and tried to photograph me without my permission. I am most certainly going to be closed to that intrusion. Instead I smile, I make eye contact and I show genuine interest in my subjects. I back off if unwelcome.
  4. Be prepared. The last thing you want to be doing when seeing a moving moment is to be fiddling with your camera settings and getting flustered. I check my camera before going out, I make sure I am ready for the light conditions and the style of photography I am aiming for.
  5. Be open. Sometimes I might have an expectation as to what I want to photograph on a certain walk, but I am always open to whatever else my inspire me. Patterns, movement, architecture… but being open is much easier said than done and takes a lot of practice.
  6. Take more than one shot. In the digital age, we have the luxury of having room for experimentation. I remember back in the 90s when I was using film, how careful I was with each single frame knowing that I had a limited number of shots before I had to change film. Nowadays, you can take your shot at different angles and make multiple compositions to get the shot that you really want.
  7. Have fun. It is such an incredible joy to me being in the streets, around people, doing what I love doing the most. If you are not enjoying it, you might as well find something else to do 🙂

These are some of my favorite street portraits that I am currently featuring on my instagram feed.

More soon on the street photography process.

IMG_5889

Snow white and she~ Shanghai

Snow white and she~ Shanghai

rebirth~ Lebanon

rebirth~ Lebanon

How life etches its print on our faces~ Shanghai

How life etches its print on our faces~ Shanghai

White~ Yunnan

White~ Yunnan

the looks that haunt~ Yunnan

the looks that haunt~ Yunnan

29 thoughts on “Candid Street Photography

  1. Hi Marie-Claire 😉
    Thank you for your tips. They reflect the great talent you have in photographing people. (As exemplified in today’s selection)
    ‘Been following you for a few years now, since your 365 project, and almost every one of your portraits or people photographs strikes a cord. (Next come your street pictures of course)
    Merci de partager ces instants avec nous.
    🙂
    Be good
    Brian

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  2. Thanks for sharing these useful tips.I can guess all the stories behind these humane expressions, well captured. Your tip # 7 takes the cake.” If you are not enjoying it, you might as well find something else to do “

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    1. Zoe, thank you for asking. I am in the process of setting up an account to collect funds for NGOs working directly with the refugees. At that time I will be able to sell the photo to benefit that work. In the meantime, it is still not for sale.

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