Joe Wigfall Shows Mastery of Shooting Photos from the Hip

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There are dozens of tricks you can use to stealthily take street photos like pretending to take an image of the sky and reviewing your photos to Zack Arias’ method of spending an uncomfortable amount of time in one spot. But one tried and true method has always seeing with your eyes.

Renowned New York street photographer Joe Wigfall explains and shows his method of shooting from the hip in a WNYC Street Shots interview. In the video Joe walks though the busy city with camera held at chest level simply taking images as he moves forward.

By not looking through the viewfinder, Joe can focus on observing his surroundings and look for scenes. What’s more, by removing the need to constantly look through the viewfinder Joe can shoot from all sorts of interesting angles such as overhead, under his arm, near his leg, and even from feet level.

It’s a technique that takes a while to figure out but learning the 35mm and 50mm can be done with time. After that, Joe says it’s just a matter of learning to trust your instincts. In a single trip during his lunch hour or walk to the train, Joe says he takes a hundred photos. This number eventually whittles down to five or three when he finally gets to Flickr, but the process is entirely worth it to get even a single image that really says something.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Brooklyn.