5 Common Mistakes to Avoid for Shooting Street Photography Like a Pro (VIDEO)

Whether you’re an amateur photographer or an experienced pro, nearby city streets offer great opportunities for making captivating images, especially when you run out of other ideas. This quick tutorial discusses five common mistakes, and how to avoid them when shooting on the street.

Robin Heizmann is a German pro known for his dramatic street photography, and in the five-minute video below he reveals a handful of pitfalls he learned to overcome as he became more experienced. He begins with a common refrain we often hear from other top shooters; namely, avoid getting hung up on gear, and concentrate instead on lighting, composition, and other variables than contribute to better images.

Heizmann also explains why an obsession with maximizing image quality is understandable for fine art photography, or when you want to make huge prints, but it can really hold you back when shooting on the street. He notes that, “In street photography, things aren’t usually planned and you have to be really spontaneous.”

That often means you have to bump up your ISO, and be satisfied with a lack of critical sharpness, a slight loss of highlight or shadow detail, and other so-called “flaws.” In other words, when shooting on the street, what really matters is a strong image with a compelling subject.

Heizmann also suggests getting closer to your subject, recommending that, “If you think you’re close enough, move two steps closer.” Watch the video for a full explanation of these and other tips from Heizmann, including the importance of avoiding stereotypes and searching for unique scenes that tell a story.

There are more interesting videos on Heizmann’s YouTube channel. And you may want to look at another street photography tutorial we posted, with tips for shooting after dark.