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Street Photography Tips - Be your own worst critic!
25th October 2017 - 0 comments


When you come home from a photo walk, toss your memory card into your computer to review your shots, are you often disappointed with the final results? Maybe your photos are blurry, or maybe you wish you had taking a shot from a different angle because something in it is distracting, or the subjects eyes are closed in the one shot you rushed to take, or a special moment you saw just isn't coming through in your photos?

A big part of my role as street photography tutor is giving the student the confidence to take candid photos of strangers in the first place and not just snap a quick shot in a blind panic and run away! I initially lead by example and to demonstrate my techniques, I go shoot a scene at my preferred focal length (which is usually much closer than the students initially). Occasionally, a student is still on the other side of the road in fear. I give them the creative incentive to come closer and focus on the frame and not worry too much about who's looking at them. This usually encourages them to take their time and not rush the job. We then review the shot(s) as they are taken, and if necessary I suggest tips to make the photo better.

A good exercise for a street photographer is to work a scene with your own eyes or preferably through your camera's viewfinder. What I mean by that is to do a 180-360° on the scene. Two examples: Ask yourself does the shot work better from the left or the right side, from lower angle or from eye level? Is there anything distracting in the frame? Should i bokeh out the background or is the background adding context to my shot, etc.

I teach students not to rush a shot unnecessarily. Of course this is a little easier if; 1. the subject(s) are not on the move 2. The subject(s) are too occupied to notice you 3. The subject(s) are unaffected by you taking photos. In doing so, you are learning to think about your composition (which I explain in more detail in my workshops), but most importantly how and when to capture the most emotionally expressive or visually impactful moment from the subject/scene.

There's nothing wrong with taking a few shots of the same scene, going home and picking the best one to use. Many of the masters of street photography including; Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliot Erwitt, Martin Parr, etc did/do exactly that with analog cameras. Just google their names plus the words 'contact sheets' for a master class lesson in observation, timing, composition. The next job once you have the shots you want is being meticulous in your final image selection. Most of the iconic shots you see, went through through these processes and have stood the test of time as classic photographs.

In my workshops you will learn to train your eyes to notice more details, moods and emotions, I teach you how to start to see interesting scenes, the confidence to go and take the shot, how to creatively compose your images and when to take your shots to convey the most impact through timing and story telling and critic your work.

If you would like to book one of my workshops, you can either sign up to one of my next Airbnb Experiences or if you prefer a private 1-2-1 please email me for further details.
Shooting at close range - Street Photography Workshops
20th July 2017 - 0 comments

Soho, London 2017

A part of my street photo workshops involves teaching covert techniques & confidence tips to shoot people at close range. Seeing as I have to lead by example, I end up taking 100s of close up pics so they can see me in action and to invite them out of their comfort zone, which for some, starts on the other side of the road. But towards the end of the workshop, they are so in the 'zone' they forget to be afraid and shoot at my distance or a much closer range then they did at the start.

This method allows you to take a better composed photo by putting your creativity and composition first, instead of any fear or doubt about taking the photo and missing the moment.

Not all street photography styles involves shooting at close range, but when you do, it can often make for a more compelling photo, especially street portraits or interactions between people expressing emotions, moods or other characteristics that would be hard to connect with if shoot from too far away.
The 7 Essential Rules of Street Photography - Article
12th June 2017 - 0 comments


The 7 Essential Rules of Street Photography

Check out a new article on Photographytalk.com website, offering some helpful beginner street photography tips! I was asked to contribute some street photography 'wisdom' to the article which I hope you find useful. Happy shooting!
Why you should never delete your photos
20th May 2016 - 0 comments


A rainy day photograph I found in the 'Vaults' today. This was taken in Soho, London September 2015. I was out on a photo walk, one of the evenings after some heavy downpour in the UK that flooded most of the country. I took a few shots from this Soho location, but at the time, I wasn't sure which shot from the series was my overall favourite. A few months on, it turns out its this one I like the best. The moral of this story is never delete the photos from your camera, no matter how rubbish you think it looks at the time. Even when you get home and look at them on your big screen monitor and you are still unsure about what to keep and what to delete, for whatever reason.

If you are not sure about a shot, store it away - keep it, back it up somewhere. There are so many freebie 'cloud storage' services available if you don't have a USB stick drive, a portable hard drive to copy your image files to. I'm quite religious with my backups now after almost losing ALL of my original files stored on a failing hard drive.

After every photo walk I do, I create & name a new folder on my Mac with the date and location of the shoot for my reference (i.e 20 May 2016 - Soho). As I review the photos from that shoot, I save the usable files (one high res & one low res) in that folder, this then gets auto backed up to my portable hard drive via Time Machine, and then this is copied to my Google Drive cloud storage area, so if both my Mac and portable drive go up in flames, I still have my cloud copies! Yes I'm a tad organised, but it is for very good reason. I'm not just overly OCD!

If like myself, you make and sell prints of your work, you need to be able to find that file for processing. I will get a print enquiry from someone about a photo that I shared on one of my social media pages. If you don't know, some of my shared street photography images date back to 2009. That's over 7 years worth of photos, that's tens of thousands of images I need to easily access and find that high res version of a specific file efficiently. Thinking back to before I had this filing system, it was virtually impossible to find image files I was looking for. I just randomly saved my images to some folder or just threw them on the Mac desktop. But now I have my 'vault', it is so much more simple to find and grab any file when I need it, especially when I have a deadline to send an image file to the printing lab. It just makes my life a whole lot easier.

Another reason I keep my files, is every so often I review a batch of older images that I've taken. They that didn't make the original cut for whatever reason and occasionally find an image I really like from that bunch, and think why didn't I notice this one before. It could be for one or a number of reasons: a) I didn't think it was visually strong enough or b) I wasn't sure it was the strongest in the series I took or even c) maybe it was not perfect in your mind, but your style may have changed or maybe now you just don't mind quirky imperfections! d) other. Every photographer should have a 'vault', a personal collection, containing your body of work that you can return to, dip into, review, rework, get inspiration from.

What have I learnt from this? Simply taking a step back from my own photos, if that's a week, a month, or a year; disconnecting myself emotionally from my images, and revisiting them from almost 'another persons' point of view, can make you see them completely differently. I have occasionally found a few gems such as this one, that I had completely forgotten that actually ended up growing on me!

This image is available as a photographic print here.