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Tips & Tutorials >> All Tips & Tutorials

Street Photography Cheat Sheet


Street photography is more than just about capturing what you see on the streets. It’s about photographing a story, a mood, or a personality, in a mere instant. Discover the basics of this genre of photography and be inspired by some of the most creative street photographers on social media.

In its essence, street photography is about capturing the beauty of everyday life. Also known as candid photography, it is a celebration of spontaneity and reflects how we see society and humans interact. It is also one of the most accessible types of photography, simply because anyone can do it. If you’re keen to explore this genre of photography, here’s what you need to know.

guitar player on the streets black and white

EOS M100, EF-M55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/4.5, 55mm, 1/100sec, ISO200


An important consideration in street photography is to travel light as it provides flexibility and helps you capture images more easily. With the EF-M55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens you're able to exercise your creativity with subjects at different ranges, whether it's a wide angle scene or an expression that you wish to capture. Thanks to its slim and sleek design and zooming capabilities, the Canon EOS M100 is an ideal choice to help you blend in among the crowd and shoot discreetly.

Camera settings

If you’re ready to start shooting the streets, the fastest way to set your camera is with aperture-priority mode and selecting your f-stop and ISO manually. Your camera then decides the shutter speed or exposure. If the shutter speed is giving you blurred shots, increase your ISO or choose a wider aperture. New to photography? Set your camera to P mode so the camera selects the correct settings, while you adjust the EV to over or under expose. 

ice cream seller on the street

EOS M100, EF-M55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/4.5, 55mm, 1/400sec, ISO200


Unlike other types of photography, there is no best time for lighting. Pay attention to your main light source(s) and how it hits your subject, its location and the background. Sometimes, the harsh afternoon light can be just as stunning as the light during the golden hour.

Getting permission

Always have empathy and respect when photographing people on the street. That’s because taking their photos is akin to invading their privacy with your camera. It’s best to always ask for your subject’s permission, even if you’ve already taken their photo. We’d recommend you to approach your subject first, and then introduce yourself. Not only does it help to put them at ease, you might even be able to direct them and experiment with interesting ways of framing your shots.

Other things to note

At the heart of it, street photography is simply about capturing moments. Instead of merely shooting the streets, focus on how to capture moments that matter to you. Take your time and have patience, because that’s when the real emotions come out. Most importantly, always have a camera with you because you never know when the best photo of your life shows up waiting for you to capture it.

Street photography on Instagram

You can find some of the most creative street photographers on Instagram showcasing snapshots of cityscapes from around the world and visual stories of urban lifestyle – enabling you to travel beyond your own streets. Here are 3 street photographers who are nailing it with their candid photography of life and human nature.

@yk's instagram thumbnails

Instagram User: @yk
If one were to dream of streets in technicolour, it would look like this feed. YK, or Yik Keat, mostly documents Singapore’s nightlife and his images transforms this city into a futuristic metropolis.


@ryancheng80's instagram thumbnails

Instagram User: @ryancheng80
From Bagan to Singapore, Ryan showcases life on the streets the best way he knows how – through quiet moments that speak volumes and touch souls.


@liamwon9's instagram thumbnails

Instagram User: @liamwon9
Explore the vibrant streets of Tokyo at night with Liam Wong. We love seeing the city through his neon lens as he showcases the culture and luminescence it has to offer.


Learn the art of improving your Instagram gallery with How to Take Better Instagram Photos with a Mirrorless Camera.



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