Are you running out of ideas when shooting streets? This post might handily get incredible street photography project ideas to help you kickstart your creativity. If you feel lost or out of ideas, you have come to the right page. Here I will include some of the ideas and my photo samples that will get you inspired for your next shoot.
Street photography can be an incredibly rewarding form of photography. It allows you to capture the world around you uniquely, and can often lead to some very powerful images. However, it can also be quite challenging, as you never know what you’re going to get. That’s why it’s important to have some project ideas in mind before you start shooting. Here are 10 incredible street photography project ideas to kickstart your creativity.
Creative people tend to look for challenges and new experiences, especially when it comes to their work. That’s why artists are always searching for something new, even in the smallest details. One way to do this is by looking for interesting and unusual perspectives in your images. These 10 incredible perspectives in street photography will inspire you and help you reach new heights in your photography.
Creative minds love challenges, and for good reason.
If you’ve never shot portraits on the streets, here are some ideas on how to shoot portraits without a studio. When it comes to creating art, one of the most important steps is finding inspiration. And although you might think that finding inspiration is easy, there are many ways to do it.
One of the most interesting and difficult aspects of street photography is composing an image and capturing the right moment. This post will not focus on technical skills but mainly on street photography project ideas and challenges. But the most basic way to shoot the street is using Aperture Priority or zone focusing technique, which required some practice. You can learn some of the basic settings on Youtube. It will include some of the best street photography examples that can help you to get started.
Every once in a while, you get the chance to try something different and exciting that can completely change the way you think. In this post, I’ve collected 7 creative challenges that will expand your mind and help you create powerful photographs. There are more to include on one page but I will first some of the projects that I’ve shot.
What is a Street Photography Project?
Street photography is a subgenre of documentary photography that focuses on everyday people and places. These images can be captured with any kind of camera, but most commonly through the use of a DLSR, compact digital cameras, film cameras and also smartphones. There are many different approaches to street photography depending on what you want to capture in your photographs.
A street photography walk is a very effective way to find interesting subjects, get new ideas, and meet like-minded photographers. Most communities have at least one or two monthly photo walks, where everyone in the community goes out on the same day and takes photos of whatever catches their eye. This can lead to some great results as you’ll likely be walking around with people who share your interests, making it easier to find potential subjects.
Let’s get started with the challenges, creative ideas and street photography project ideas you can set for yourself and get inspired and experiment with.
1. Double exposures
Double exposures in street photography can be done on a single image, an entire series, or multiple shots of the same subject that have been layered. There are a few different ways to shoot double exposures. One of the most common is to first shoot a portrait and shoot the same subject or background from different angles. This can help create a doppelganger effect where your subjects and background will appear to be in two places at once and overlap.
Double exposure can be done with modern cameras or film cameras. In this example, I’ve shot the same image with the Contax G1 during one of my street photo walk and double-exposure film project to create a series of double-exposure images. If you are a Fujifilm shooter, the other method is to use the multiple exposure feature in the Fujifilm X Series cameras. These cameras can be set to take multiple shots at once but only when there is enough light.
Shooting double exposure required some trial and error. Sometimes you might get some ‘ghosting‘ results which might look weird. Once you get the hang of it, the double exposure can be a fun and interesting way to add a different look and feel to your photographs.
If you are not familiar with what double exposure means or how to make one, there are many resources online to teach you the basics. I will write a post on the topic if you want to learn more.
2. Night film photography
For this night film street photography project, you’ll need a camera with manual controls, a tripod or other stable platform, and some time to experiment. For the most part, the goal of night photography is to capture the night scenes in a way that isn’t possible during the day. By taking pictures at night, you’ll be able to photograph scenes that aren’t visible at any other time of day. Alternatively, you can use film cameras to create a certain creative or cinematic tone which I’ve done several experiments shooting with the Kodak Vision3 500T at night.
Shooting at night can be fun and challenging when it comes to night film photography because this will also be able to test your camera’s capability for night photography. You’ll find that some cameras perform better than others in low-light situations. This is one reason why using a film camera with motion picture film stocks would be a good choice over a digital camera for this project.
3. Candid shots
Candid shots are when the camera captures an unexpected or spontaneous moment. There are different kinds of candid shots that you can try in street photography. First, there are candid selfies, which are self-portraits that happen spontaneously as you walk down the street taking pictures of people or other subjects.
There are also candid landscapes, which are landscapes that you capture without a particular subject in mind. You can even mix candid portraits and landscapes to create a double exposure of sorts.
Third, you can do candid people shots, which are portraits of other people that happen to be passing by when you’re taking your pictures. This is an excellent way to separate yourself from the crowd and get close-ups of strangers without them knowing.
Another type of candid shot that you can try is capturing strangers in everyday situations. Probably this is one of the easiest street photography projects you can kickstart first. To do this, simply walk around a city or town you’ve never been to and observe people from a distance. This will help you get familiar with the culture and lifestyle of the place as well as its people. As you walk around, pay attention to what the people are doing – are they reading, talking on the phone, shopping, etc? Is there a particular subject or person that caught your attention?
If you haven’t read about recent film photography projects of my routine walking in the town for hours to capture candid shots, feel free to explore and view the street photography photos in Malaysia to get some inspiration.
Juxtaposition is a type of photography that utilizes interesting juxtapositions to create unique and compelling images. This means that the photo shouldn’t be boring or cliche, but will be able to capture your attention in some way through its content. Juxtaposition can also be used in street photography to capture unexpected details or juxtapositions. For example, you can take a picture of a woman wearing a red dress standing on the sidewalk while there is one of a mannequin displayed in a red dress and accessories. Probably the juxtaposition is all about waiting and required patience or a little bit of luck to get the moment.
This kind of photo will bring up many different reactions from people and that’s what makes it interesting. You can use the same idea in your street photography project by trying to capture a situation that’s funny, annoying, or just plain weird. The most interesting thing about this type of photography is that you don’t need to be in a certain place and time to take the photo. Sometimes there will be an opportunity that pops up when you least expect it, which is what makes this type of photography interesting. I think juxtaposition is worth including in this first street photography project idea to get you started.
Another example of different ways to capture interesting juxtapositions is capturing two people sitting next to each other and doing something different. Similarly, you can use juxtaposition with objects in the background of a picture to create an impact on your viewers. For example, you can take a picture of an old house in the country while there are city buildings behind it. This can give a nostalgic feel to it and also to the viewer.
5. Motion Blur
Probably this is a project idea that involved wandering in the city to capture motion blur series in street photography. Your objective for the entire day shoot will focus on creating abstracts on the street. You can take a series of groups of people walking and this is where you come to play with your camera’s slow shutter setting. Sometimes you don’t have to get sharp photos when doing street and alright to intentionally make your image blur for creative results. All of these photos can be combined to make a collection.
Most of the time motion blur photography is used to convey a certain movement, mood, or thought that you want to communicate to your viewers. This means that you need to do some thinking and planning before you take the photo. For example, if you are capturing a stranger standing still while the backgrounds are blurred with movement, it will give a certain idea or feeling to your viewers.
For example, taking a picture of someone eating while there is smoke coming out from the food and the person’s mouth will make your viewers curious about the contents of the food. You can then use your imagination to come up with many scenarios to create an interesting collection. In some cases, you may just take a snapshot of something that catches your attention and cannot be categorized. This can also be described as a “moment” photography.
Another type of smoke photography is when you are trying to capture the smoke of certain elements in the background in the downtown area.
6. Shoot only JPEG
One effective way to shoot street photography is to take JPEG images only. Shooting JPEG only or SOOC can be fun and easy. You can set this as one of your street photography project ideas where you just want to shoot JPEG for the whole day. You can combine all these street photography ideas all in one, let’s say give yourself a challenge and shoot in JPEG for a week or month. I am a Fujifilm X-T4 shooter and most of the time I shoot with my Fujifilm SOOC recipes created based on some of the best Fujifilm film simulations for street photography whenever I’m wandering in the city. Some of the best film recipes you can try are Vision Obscura, Kodak Portra 400, and Kodachrome 64, just to name a few.
Most street photographers love to edit photos but by shooting SOOC with the Fujifilm cameras, I always nailed my shots without editing need, even for portraits, if the exposure or lighting is good. I don’t suggest you shoot SOOC JPEG only when doing travel photography because you might want some backups in most cases the RAW files to do the adjustments on your travel photos.
7. Leading lines
When taking photographs of things that are located in the middle of a road, you will need to consider whether these should be included in the frame or not. These lines that divide the subject from the edge of the frame can be called leading lines. This can be applied to any kind of street photography project ideas that you want to do.
For example, with this project’s idea about leading lines, you can take a picture of someone who is walking or standing with the background forming the leading line in the center of the frame. By doing this, you can make the subject in the center of the frame stand out from the background and make a leading line. By applying this idea to any other kind of street photography project ideas that you can think of.
This is just one example of how you can use leading lines in your street photography project ideas. You can always come up with more ideas.
The best thing about street photography is that there are no limits to creativity. The best photographer does not only understand how his camera works but also how the human brain works. You are encouraged to think outside the box, experiment and apply your creative side in street photography.
You have just read some of the many street photography project ideas that you can choose from. By doing this, hopefully, this article will help you come up with more ideas to photograph the streets of your city. You can start with digital or film cameras, let’s say this month, you will shoot using a film camera, you want to set a street photography challenge for yourself and the next month start with another project or challenge by shooting digital and compiling all the photos in series. There you go, now you will have a complete collection of film and digital photos to share on social media!
If you have enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends online so they can learn some street photography ideas and challenges too! What do you think about the project ideas above? Give it a try whenever you’re out of ideas and for sure I will include street photography project ideas in the next post.