7 Street Photography Tips from a Pro

Ronya Galka is a renowned street photographer, she was listed in the Top 10 British Street Photographers in 2015 by the Interactive Design Institute. Her fine art street photography has been exhibited at Liberty's of London and the Pall Mall Gallery. During the past ten years her photography has appeared in numerous publications and exhibitions.

#1 Wear Comfortable (not to be confused with sensible) Shoes

"To me, the entire street photography process is all about roaming through the streets of the city that I am in with the aim of exploring and absorbing the unique energy of the place.

There is nothing better than letting your mind (and feet) wander freely and shoot street images in the process. It is not unusual for me to walk for 10km or more in a day in search of the perfect light, the perfect character or simply a shot that I can be proud of. And for that to happen my feet need to carry me all the way in comfort."

#2 Look Up and Down and All Around

"It is amazing how much of the life around you you miss if you merely look at the world at eye-level.

This shot is a great example of the magical world of reflections that comes to life when it rains. Over the years I have been increasingly drawn to reflections and shadows as the very unique characters in my images. I took this shot on the way to work this morning and was fascinated how much the wet pavement looked like a mirror. Looking up also very often reveals some very unexpected architectural features. So it really pays to try and aim for unusual angles, so go ahead and shoot low, shoot high and shoot from the hip."

#3 Don't Always Go For The Obvious Subject 

"Whenever I shoot around some very obvious tourist attractions or very well known places of interest, I like to focus on the peripheral elements in those locations. In this shot it would have been very easy to focus on Big Ben or the lions at Trafalgar Square but instead I opted to depict the two guys having a little rest instead with the famous landmarks serving as the perfect backdrop for my scene."  

#4 Be Ready and Prepared To Shoot At All Times 


"It has been said time and time before: the best camera is the one you have with you.

Moving, fascinating and surreal scenes unfold in front of your very eyes everywhere you go (provided you pay attention to your surroundings) and one of the most challenging and thrilling aspects of street photography is that you have to be attentive and react quickly in order to press the shutter when you see a shot worth taking. Blink and you'll miss it and the moment will be gone forever. It obviously takes some time to practice this and it can be hugely frustrating when your timing is off or someone walks into your shot but on the other hand, when the streets stars align and you get it right, it's the most thrilling experience! This shot I took walking over Trafalgar Square on a very miserable and rainy afternoon. The pair in front of me met straight in front of me, had a little kiss and a cuddle and then they were on their way, it was all over in a couple of seconds... I don't know what their story was (and will probably never find out) but with my camera out and ready I was able to take the shot. A very ordinary moment that has left me with a very special memory."

#5 Have Fun With Street Photography

"The beauty of street photography is that you  can usually come to it with your very own brief and angle.

It is a very subjective form of photography for which you get to pursue subjects that are close to your heart and capture scenes that are close to your heart.
Once you start looking around you and paying attention to your surroundings you will see just how surreal and bizarre unscripted life can be. There are funny moments all around us and I am a true believer in not taking ourselves (and life) too seriously. So, grab your camera, go out there and have FUN!"

#6 Move At The Pace Of Your City


"You get a much better feel (and eye) for the vibe of areas and cities if you get amongst it and move with the crowds. I personally feel very self-conscious if I am just standing in one place and I feel like people are really noticing me and are becoming aware of my camera. However, when I move with the crowds, really immerse myself in the flow it becomes a lot easier to get close to my subjects without them being bothered (or even aware of my presence). The two men in this shot shared a joke and did not pay any attention to me approaching them and the pay-off is a very natural candid moment captured through my lens."    

7 Don't Be Afraid To Get Close To Your Subject         

"Robert Capa once said; 'If your pictures aren't good enough, you are not close enough." And I couldn't agree more.
As long as you respect your fellow citizens' private space and don't invade their "zone" there is no reason why you should not get as close to your subject as you possibly can. As you practice street photography more and more you get to develop your very own approach for "remaining invisible" and finding ways to get that little bit closer to your subject to take the shot. The thrill of spotting your protagonist, walking straight up to them and then taking a powerful shot before then walking on doesn't ever wear off..."       


A huge thank you to Ronya for sharing these magnificent photos and giving us 7 great tips on Street photography. You can keep up to date with Ronya's brilliant photography through her Instagram page - @Ronya and find out more about her work on her site.

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