In January 2016, I started a project of shooting everyday on the streets for 366 days of the year using only my iphone6. The idea started as a practise to apply the skills I learned and to see and capture those unusual moments on the streets. It was very challenging and at the same time a great learning experience for me. Having successfully completed the project, I have been asked by many photographers to give some tips and advice and accordingly have listed down 20 important points I found very essential while doing such projects.
20 points I learned from my 366 Street Project:
- Decide on the format you will be shooting, ie. BW or color and then stick to it through the whole project to have consistency.
- Either set a theme for the month and shoot only that (Example : light and shadows, animals etc.) or walk with an open mind and grab the moment that comes to you.
- Try not to repeat your shots.
- Read the light properly every day. Check for the time when the shadows appear. If the scene is interesting enough, come back the next day at the same spot to see if you can get anything good.
- See how the light is exposing your subjects. Make sure to shoot when the light is falling on the front exposing their face rather than on the back.
- Look for interesting elements such as signs, posters, geometry when you walk and note where they are located so that the next time you see a potential subject coming, you are aware how to juxtapose it.
- Look for emotions, gestures, repetitive actions by people.
- Create your own stories – warning: not many of your images will connect with your viewers. If it does, you have a winner.
- When taking portraits, look for emotions on the face combined with good light.
- If you find a good scene, even if it is cliché, take the shot but do it well.
- Discuss your work with like-minded friends who understand such works well and respect their views.
- Backup your images to 2 different places. If taken using a mobile camera, make sure that every week/month, it is saved in other places.
- If you think you can get a better shot from the same spot, go back again. Don’t compromise on the first attempt.
- If you are shooting with a mobile camera, then use your phone to your advantage. For example, trick your subjects into believing that you are talking to someone and then look at the screen and take the shot.
- Don’t shoot to impress others, shoot for yourself.
- Don’t take just any picture; try to find quality in your image. If not with content, then form. This will improve your vision and your project.
- If you are shooting different times of the day, don’t rush in publishing your image. Take your time and do it at end of the day. In this way you can edit and decide which one works well, rather compromising on the available shot
- Don’t get disappointed as some days it will be bad. After a few months, you will have the notion you won’t be able to complete it. Don’t fall for it, believe in yourself. You will be able to do it. When you complete this challenge, you will feel so good. It’s better to set target for a month, then continue.
- Pictures are everywhere, you just need to observe and be patient.
- Most importantly, understand the photography laws of your country and abide by them.
About Sreeranj Sreedhar
Sreeranj is a street and documentary photographer from India but currently residing and working in Dubai as an Administration & Human Resources Manager.
Sreeranj started serious photography in the year 2011 and got interested in documentary and street photography, to capture the unusual in the usual moments of the daily life, culture and festivals around the world. He draws inspiration from many international and local photographers and has attended several workshops by master photographers to fine tune his skills and knowledge in this art.
His works have been exhibited local and international venues and published in National Geographic, Lonely Planet Traveller Magazine, Digital Photo Magazine USA, Wanderlust Travel Magazine UK to name a few. He has also received many local and international awards in this short span of time.
You can find Sreeranj Sreedhar on the Web :
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Sreeranj Sreedhar. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.