Working The Streets - Street Photography

Photograph: Parrot Man, Havana, Cuba

Street photography is currently one of the most common photographic practices and has seen a surge in popularity over the past few years. It offers the photographer a never ending plethora of shooting opportunities. I'm often asked for advice on how to work on the streets. There are no hard a fast rules, it just depends on what you are trying to achieve and what you are looking for.

Tip 1. Be brave! If you're going to wander around the streets looking for pictures to emerge you have to react quickly and instinctively when the opportunity arrives. People may be surprised and have a negative reaction to being photographed so make sure you are prepared. If you're working on the streets of England you have a legal right to shoot anyone in a public place. They may not always be pleased but hey, you're not breaking any rules so shoot away.

Tip 2. Find a scene and wait for the elements to fall into place. This picture was shot in Havana, Cuba and was published by National Geographic. I had found the green wall and knew it would make a great backdrop for a strong picture. Now all I had to do was wait for my picture to emerge and be ready to work quickly when the elements fell into place. I took a seat outside a little bar - it's thirsty work is street photography - and waited. I was keeping an eye on who was walking along the path and all of a sudden I see this guy with a parrot on his shoulder. I keep my camera hidden and as soon as he comes into frame I shot two frames. The picture works really well because of the strong use of colour and the leading character is looking straight to camera and is nicely framed by the other passers by.

Street photography is fantastic fun and you always come away with images that you could never have dreamed of. So, be brave and go and have some fun!

Buy Havana Parrot Man as a Photographic Print here.