Developing Your Street Portrait Style

  1. Street portrait photography
  2. Tips for approaching people for street portraits
  3. Developing your street portrait style

Are you interested in developing your street portrait style? Street photography is a fantastic way to capture the uniqueness of your environment and create stunning portraits of people around you. However, it can be daunting approaching strangers and asking them to take part in your photography project. This article provides tips and advice on how to develop your street portrait style, providing you with an easy and comfortable way to capture the beauty of people in your surroundings.


Composition is one of the most important elements of a great street portrait. Composition refers to how the elements of a photograph are arranged, including the subject, the background, and any other elements.

When composing your street portrait, take the time to consider how all of these elements interact with each other. Think about how you can use the elements to tell a story or evoke a feeling. Lighting is also an essential part of composition. Natural light can be used to great effect in street portraits, as it often creates a softer, more natural look.

But, depending on the situation, you may want to use artificial light to enhance the composition of your shot. For example, you may want to use a flash to add some contrast and depth to your portrait. Color is also an important element when it comes to composition. Color can help to convey the emotion or mood of your photo.

Consider how you can use color to create a sense of harmony or tension in your shot.

Approaching People for Street Portraits

Street portrait photography can be an intimidating prospect, as photographers must approach strangers and ask for their permission to take their picture. If you want to become a successful street portrait photographer, it's important to learn how to approach people in the right way. Before you start approaching people, make sure you have all your gear ready and that you are well prepared. Have a plan of what you want to achieve, and make sure that you are respectful of the person's space and their wishes.

Be patient when approaching people and give them time to think about your request. Don't be pushy or aggressive; instead, remain polite and friendly. It's also important to be aware of cultural differences and local customs, so research any areas you plan to shoot in beforehand. Finally, always try to offer something in return for taking the person's photo.

This could be as simple as showing them the photos you have taken or giving them a copy of the final image. It is also a good idea to provide contact details so they can get in touch with you if they ever want copies of the photos.


The lighting of a street portrait can make or break a photograph. Natural light is often the best option for street portraits, as it can create interesting shadows and highlights that are difficult to replicate with artificial light. To get the most out of natural light, look for locations that are bright but not too bright.

A shaded alleyway or overhanging trees can provide the perfect lighting for a street portrait. When looking for a good light source, consider the direction of the light and its intensity. Use the sun or another strong light source to your advantage and find a spot where it’s coming from behind or the side of your subject. This will create a beautiful rim light that will highlight your subject’s features in a dramatic way. If the sun is too intense, look for an area where it’s blocked by trees or buildings. It’s also important to take into account the time of day when shooting street portraits.

Early morning or late afternoon are usually the best times for street portraits as this is when the sun is at its lowest angle and creates soft, directional light. On cloudy days, try shooting in open shade as this can create a beautiful soft light. Finally, be sure to explore different angles and positions to get the most out of the natural light. Different angles and positions can bring out different aspects of a person’s face, allowing you to capture more nuanced shots. Experiment with different angles and positions to get the most out of your natural lighting. Developing your own unique street portrait style can be an intimidating prospect, but by understanding the elements of a great street portrait, such as composition and lighting, and using the tips provided here you can create beautiful images that capture everyday life in an interesting way.

Approaching people for street portraits requires practice and patience, but with the right attitude and etiquette you can create meaningful connections with your subjects.

Jillian White
Jillian White

Photographer & Blogger. Beer enthusiast. Hipster-friendly vegan bacon specialist. Professional coffee lover. Wannabe food evangelist.