Jean Shrimpton in New York City photographed by David Bailey for Vogue, 1962
Photo: © Archives Vogue / David Bailey
Street Fashion Photography started when East Enders Terence Donovan, David Bailey and Brian Duffy chose to shoot fashion models in galleries, alleyways and busy streets in a reportage style.
They were a breath of fresh air, bringing glamour, along with new ideas and enormous energy, to photography. They helped shape a mostly mythical image of London in the 1960s, where fun could be had and dreams could come true. They were known as “the terrible trio” or as society photographer Norman Parkinson called them, “the Black Trinity”.
An important tip to achieve great street fashion shots is to ditch your telephoto lenses. Loved by shy photographers because they allow you to keep a “safe distance” from your subject, they also crop the background and close the angle too much, excluding most of the environment. Use wide angles up to 50mm to include urban elements in the background. Get close to your subject, no fear, please.
You can use wide apertures (small f/number) to lightly blur the background (not so much that it becomes unrecognisable) and make your subject pop up sharp. Wide apertures also ensure fast shutter speeds. In the street it all happens very quickly and you don’t want to have camera shake neither blur your subject by motion (unless this is your idea in the first place). ISO 400 is a good place to start.
Consider using a built-in flash or speedlight, specially when the light is very harsh. You can use it as fill light for the shadows or to lighten up your subject on dull light. Play with the flash exposure compensation settings by lowering the power for fill light and making it stronger when photographing against the light.
With the camera set, you can try a few different strategies. One is to choose an interesting background and wait until someone interesting appears. The other one is to follow an interesting subject for a while until a great situation unfolds.
We prepared a Pinterest board to get you inspired. Send us your images to win a £200 discount voucher to book any Course or Workshop at LSP.
Please submit your photos here (maximum 5 images per person). Login or register to be able to upload. Deadline: August 10th.
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