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Article: How to take good street photography while traveling

Wie man auch auf Reisen gute Straßenfotografie macht

How to take good street photography while traveling

Street photography, often referred to by its English name, is a captivating art form that deals with the search for something special in the everyday. And where better to capture these little peculiarities of life in the city than on a journey, where all that is new and unknown stimulates you and your own fascination is not yet clouded by the veil of habit? However, a photographic foray with a camera in an unknown city and an unfamiliar environment can also quickly become overwhelming, so there are a few things you should bear in mind before plunging headlong into the adventure of street photography while traveling.

Don't jump in at the deep end

When you arrive in a new and unfamiliar place, you should take enough time to familiarize yourself with your surroundings before you set off into the chaos of the city with your camera in hand. To do this, it is advisable to spend a few days strolling through the streets without a camera and exploring various interesting districts. Even before your trip, you can get an overview of areas at your destination with particularly interesting architecture and lively squares where you can observe the daily life of the locals and perhaps photograph them later. By familiarizing yourself with the city, you can identify potential subjects and choose the best spots for photo adventures, but most importantly, you can learn the local rules and customs and feel comfortable and safe in your surroundings.

In fact, one of the basic virtues and important techniques of urban photography is to move unobtrusively through the environment in which you want to work, so as not to distort the authenticity that plays such an important role in this genre with your own presence. Therefore, avoid conspicuous clothing or equipment that could attract attention and make an effort to remain discreet when photographing. This is especially true in unfamiliar territory, where you should also think about your safety and that of your photographic equipment. Even in generally safe areas, there are always pickpockets who might flirt with your camera. Opt for simple cameras and lenses that are less conspicuous and allow you to capture authentic moments without attracting too much attention.

Go with the flow in the chaos of the city

Cities are vibrant, chaotic centers of activity, and street photography thrives on capturing this energy and dynamism. Get caught up in the hustle and bustle of city life and don't be afraid to immerse yourself in crowded streets, busy markets and vibrant neighborhoods. Look out for interesting coincidences, fleeting expressions and spontaneous interactions that convey the rhythm and spirit of the city and try to capture those very features.

The essence of street photography lies in capturing authentic, unaffected moments that reflect the human experience. Be patient and attentive and allow the scenes to unfold naturally in front of your lens. Pay attention to gestures, facial expressions and interactions that express emotion, personality and the unique character of the city and its inhabitants.

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In many respects, the same rules apply to the techniques and working methods for street photography when traveling as you do at home in the city. Pay particular attention to the play of light between the buildings that make up the cityscape. Special reflections and light effects offer one of the most exciting aspects of street photography for travelers. New perspectives and angles can also inspire your photographic work and help you to take remarkable pictures while traveling. More tips on street photography and the right camera and the perfect lens for your next street photography adventure can be found on our blog.

Safe and respectful in a foreign environment

Especially if your travel destination is in an unfamiliar culture where you are not so familiar with the rules of politeness and polite behavior, you should invest time in research before your trip and observe very carefully when you are there to avoid putting your foot in your mouth or unknowingly violating personal boundaries. For example, there are countries where people generally refuse to be photographed or where special moments are considered too personal for a photo.

While street photography celebrates the spontaneity and authenticity of urban life, it is important to respect the privacy and cultural sensitivities of the people you are considering as subjects. Be mindful of personal boundaries and avoid photographing people without their consent, especially in intimate or vulnerable moments. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and ask permission before photographing someone. Be aware of your role as a person from the global North, especially in post-colonial contexts, and try not to reproduce any of the old and painful role models on your trip.

Last but not least, the tips for urban photography when traveling also include the aspect of your own safety. There are often particularly lively scenes and exciting motifs in neighborhoods where low-income people live and it is a real temptation to explore them with camera in hand. However, you should definitely find out about the security situation in the area beforehand. Even before your trip, you can get yourself a camera strap to protect against pickpockets and invest in an inconspicuous camera bag that won't reveal your expensive possessions at first glance. With a little caution, the right questions and presence of mind at the right moment, you will find your way around quickly and safely, even in unfamiliar surroundings. But don't take any risks and take your own safety seriously!


Street photography offers travelers a unique opportunity to capture the soul of a city and the stories of its inhabitants. By following these basic tips and techniques, you're sure to discover a lot on your next trip and create captivating images that capture authentic situations succinctly on film. Take up the challenge and set yourself the goal of capturing the very special aspects of everyday life in your destination on your next trip!

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