How to gain confidence in daily life when shooting street photography

Daily Observations, Eric Kim, During an Eric Kim workshop we had to get 10 no's and shoot a person until they noticed me.

Street photography is hard. And by doing it, you gain confidence. It is so easy to just walk the streets and photograph the sidewalk or that street light, the beautiful door. By that is not street photography. Street photography is a combination of candid moments and documenting the human condition. Telling stories about daily life.


To be able to tell stories about daily life people are essential. Include them in an image. You can shoot them from afar, but then you are documenting the surroundings with people in it. To be able to connect and tell stories about the person you have to engage them. Get up close. Because the real connection comes, when you as a photographer engages the scene and the persons in it.

Gain Confidence

But that is hard. When you are unknown in your surroundings and in a group of people, and you have your camera in your bag. How hard is it to pick up that camera and make a picture. It feels like intruding the life of those people. And in a way it is. You are the stranger person, and you are photographing them. How would you feel when that would happen to you?

But pick up that camera, make the image. And see what happens. You are documenting a once in a lifetime moment that will never happen again. If you feel it needs documenting do it, and deal with the aftermath when it is over. It might be that the people ask questions. Maybe they get angry because you photographed them. They are not going to kill you or fight you. Just be open tell them what you are doing and maybe delete the particular image if nothing else helps.

It takes courage

Photographing those people, maybe engage a group and make a beautiful group photo or a beautiful street portrait. Is empowering. It takes courage to approach them, but you gain confidence by doing it. By engaging people from all walks of life, you learn to deal with almost everyone. You always meet them in their natural surroundings, their private space. Depending on where you photograph you could meet criminals and CEOs. You learn to know how their life looks like. You document the human condition.

Their reaction and your reaction to them gain your confidence in your personal life by that you will grow your personality.


So photograph on the street, document the candid moments and the human condition. Grow your personality and gain confidence by photographing on the streets.