I'm interested in street photography but always had the fear of how people may react when I'm taking candid pictures. Because, I have seen people snatch away cameras and create a big drama on the street.

It seems that other photographers get different reactions because of their appearance. When taking similar shots the subjects are not bothered as much and may just shy away from the frame if not interested.

[This question is not a duplicate because I want to take candid shots and not approach people and make them pose]

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    \$\begingroup\$ To add, get your work online, get business cards, and offer to send copies or delete images if asked. Part of a photographer's job is to make the subject feel comfortable - and being professional, open, and honest works for just about everyone. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Oct 14, 2017 at 15:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ The best approach according to some street photographers that I know is to simply take the picture regardless of what someone might think. 99% of the time nobody will tell you anything and in the 1% where someone has an issue you can always walk away or delete the picture if they're too insistent. Being coy won't let you be a great photographer. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14, 2017 at 22:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is still a duplicate of the linked question. The highest-voted answer specifically addresses what you want to do: "don't approach people first, just shoot them", and then details how the approach works, links to videos of street photographers discussing the technique, etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Oct 15, 2017 at 18:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NikitaSokolsky Just because someone doesn't speak up doesn't mean you didn't cause them distress by photographing them without their consent. I don't have strong enough words to describe people who think their photography is more important than the wellbeing of others. \$\endgroup\$
    – user29608
    Oct 19, 2017 at 5:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fkraiem I agree that those people are kind of a*****les. That's why personally I could never do street photography. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 19, 2017 at 7:53

1 Answer 1


The best subjects for candid street photography will be those who know you're taking a photograph, and either don't care or are active participants. This might be because they are part of a general street scene, but if you're obviously looking at a particular person the easiest way to find out how they would feel about being photographed is to ask them. You might have a few minutes when they're self-conscious or playing for the camera, but give it time. If they say "no", accept that. The idea of candid photography doesn't mean you have to sneak up on people.

Trying to take candid photographs of people who haven't given you their permission only really works if you're after angry or suspicious looking subjects.

Some photographers advocate a long lens. This will introduce a feel of separation between you and your subject, which works if that's the point, but doesn't if it isn't, and streets will feel more claustrophobic. There's a lot of good advice on lenses and types of camera here : What is a good focal length for street photography?


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