Can You Take 30 Street Portraits in Two Hours?

Screenshot taken from the video

How many of you go out there and actively go ahead with asking strangers for street portraits? I’m sure not a whole lot of you. Whether you’re new to photography or far along into the craft, it pays to challenge yourself every now and then to keep your skills sharp and your perspectives fresh. You can start with it today by taking 30 street portraits of total strangers in your city within two hours, or roughly a photo every four minutes. Sounds easy, right? It depends, most likely, on how comfortable you are when it comes to spotting interesting faces and intriguing characters, approaching them, and taking the portrait that best represents their personality. For introverts like Matt Higgs, this is often an intimidating and arduous task.

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The Faces of Stijn Hoekstra’s Cinematic Cuba Show Connection Between Subject and Photographer

All images by Stijn Hoekstra. Used with Creative Commons Permission.

We’ve all seen the photos and movies that show the picturesque, cinematic Cuba. Creating a picture of a place through its people is one effective way to show the essence of a destination; and this portrait set taken by Amsterdam-based Stijn Hoekstra around Cuba is a great example. If you’re looking for some inspiration in the realm of travel photography, portraiture, and even street photography, his version of a “Cinematic Cuba” will certainly do the trick.

Instead of making candid street snaps of people going about their days during his three-week holiday in the Caribbean island nation, Stijn did what many of us are still hesitant about: getting close to his subjects, interacting with them, and making a connection. This resulted in photos revealing some interesting characters. The attention to detail is also impressive — notice how the repeating combinations of straw and felt hats, the world-famous Cuban cigar, and rural backgrounds paint a picture of Cuba’s more laid-back parts.

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The Awkward Photographer’s Guide to Networking With Other People

Networking events are part of the whole body of the photography industry no matter what part of it you happen to be in. They’re essential when it comes to building your business, building your name, and even just to keep the door open to possibly working with folks in the future. It’s also no secret the industry is more often than not about who you know more than what you know. So if you’re looking to network with other photographers, editors, Instagramers, gallery curators, wedding planners, etc. then read on for a few tips.

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Why Documentary Photography Needs to Fundamentally Change and Evolve

This is a syndicated blog post from our premium publication, La Noir Image. For even more, we highly suggest that you subscribe. $15/year gets you content and presets, $40/year gets that and a special tutorial video coming soon. $100/year gets you all of that plus a special portfolio critique of 20 of your images.

Lead photo by Tuncay

Years ago, photojournalists were creating images that changed the world, our opinions on life, public policies, etc. The photo was powerful; and it arguably still is. But the inherent problem with the photo’s power these days has to do with a myriad of changes in society where the photo just hasn’t been able to keep up. Just think about it: years ago photography had a big part of ending the Vietnam War and exposing lots of other major issues with society. But these days, it’s not as effective. This isn’t only in the richer, more developed societies but instead all over the world. To understand why, we need to explore photography and culture’s relationship.

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Pieter Symon: Behind the Scenes at the Louvre After the French Election

All images and text by Pieter Symon. Used with permission.

I was attending the Louvre Museum party of France president elect Emmanuel Macron. It was a great evening and I tried to catch the spirit. The story I try to tell with these pictures is the story of mainly young French people, celebrating that Emmanuel Macron has been chosen president. Attending the event, people cheering and singing along with the national anthem, waving French and European flags, this felt like the celebration of a great victory, of a revolution. Against the background of the Louvre Museum, some of my shots make me think of this painting of French symbol Marianne (see here). That feeling, that is what I tried to capture.

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You Can Now Get Paid to Follow Rich People Around on Vacation And Create Better Instagram Photos For Them

You guys: people are starting to finally realize that they suck at Instagram enough to warrant needing to bring a photographer with them and ALSO HIRE THOSE PHOTOGRAPHERS!!! This is one of the latest new trends in photography that’s come after birthing photography, family documentary, etc. So if you feel you’ve got the chops and the documentary experience, then you’re probably talented enough to rub shoulders with some talentless rich kids–at least when it comes to Instagram.

Warning: a fair amount of good natured snark is ahead.

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The Tokina 20mm f2 FiRIN as a Travel Photography and Street Photography Lens

Lots of photographers often wonder about what the best travel photography lens is; but when you look at many lists they often talk about zooms despite prime lenses like the Tokina 20mm f2 FiRIN being fantastic offerings. I’ve been playing with the lens for a really long time now both in NYC and in Thailand. The Tokina 20mm f2 FiRIN is designed for Sony full frame E mount cameras and is a manual focus optic with pretty fantastic image quality overall. I’m pretty in love with it for a specific reason: my fading eyesight.

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Gabe Scalise: Everyday Adventures in Analog Film Photography

All images by Gabe Scalise. Used with permission.

Photographer Gabe Scalise hails from Seattle, Washington, and has a particular affinity for analog film photography. He attributes this to growing up in New England and an uncle posthumously leaving a 35mm Pentax SLR camera along with a handful of lenses. “From there I began to experiment with polaroid and medium format film formats and always found the most inspiration in exploring natural and wild places, traveling internationally, and in meeting and interacting with diverse people along the way,” Gabe tells the Phoblographer in an email. “These travels and experiences, along with my love for cinema, have driven my work to what it is today wherein I seek to reflect on quiet moments of understanding, wonder, awe, and magic in our wild and diverse world.” Like most other film photographers, Gabe expresses that his love of analog photography is tied to his love of people.

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How My Approach to Street Photography Has Changed After More Than a Decade of Photographing New York

All images by text by James Maher. 

The time-honored approach to improving one’s photography has always been time spent out there taking pictures. Education, gallery shows, and reading photography books can do wonders for a person’s development, but there is nothing that comes close to the importance of just going out there constantly for a long period of time.

After photographing diligently for 14 years, I have noticed some profound changes in how I see the city and how I photograph it. Not only have my technical skills improved, but I have learned a lot more about what I like to shoot and how I want to portray the city. Here are some of the changes that have occurred.

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Faces of Shanghai: Visual Story Telling of the Faces and Emotions of a People

All images by Blupace. Used with permission.

We’ve featured Blu & Pace before on this website, and they’re a couple who continue to astound me with the quality of their black and white photography. The duo specialize in portrait, fashion, and documentary photography–with a new series called Faces of Shanghai being at the fore of their new work.

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JP Stones Documents Aztec Culture in Mexico Through Stunning Portraiture

All images by JP Stones. Used with permission.

“Mexico has a deep and fascinating history,” explains photographer JP Stones in his email to us. “None more fascinating than the Aztecs meteoric rise to empire, and equally spectacular fall. Many Aztec traditions and ceremonies held such a vital place within Mexican culture that they have survived over 600 years through to today.” In the hippie Mexican beach town of Sayulita, a partnership has been forged between the local Azteca community and photographers JP Stones and Brei Barron. JP describes the result as a series of cinematic photos depicting a cultural movement thriving beneath the surface of Mexico’s everyday life.

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How to Shoot Better Street Portraits With Minimal Gear

One of the things many photographers find to be very challenging is shooting street portraits. There are a number of complications: sometimes a photographer doesn’t have the courage to ask someone for a portrait but they have the technical knowledge. But other times, it’s the opposite. Taking portraits of people on the street really isn’t that difficult to do though and once you understand the basics of human psychology you’ll see just how simple it can be.

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Jvdas Berra Showcases Birds of Prey in These Beautiful Fashion Photographs

All images by Jvdas Berra. Used with a Creative Commons License.

Everyone on Instagram thinks themselves to be the next biggest fashion photographer; but on this side of the desk it’s very clear many people out there lack vision. Jvdas Berra is a fashion photographer who creates images with a cause–and a very specific vision. His images have a Je Ne Sais Quoi to them that isn’t seen in the work of many others. Part of this has to do with his strong beliefs in conversation; which is furthered in his new project, D´SCENE: Predaceous.

Jvdas holds a special place in our hearts. We’ve featured him three times previously and, every time we see his work, our jaws drop.

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10 Under 10K: Emerging Black and White Street Photographers on Instagram

Some of the best are the ones we don’t know about.

I was truly impressed by what I saw while scouring Instagram to show you ten mostly monochrome street photographers to inspire you this month. The thing that excited me most was just how many people are making work like this, and how diverse and interesting street photography really is. In the tradition of the great street photographers of earlier decades, there are people all around the globe adding to the visual record of person, culture, place, and architecture and sharing it with their fellow photographers and humans. Here are some mostly black and white feeds that you’re bound to find particularly inspiring and some reasons why.



Documenting the Life of the American Worker

All images by Pete Barrett. Used with permission.

Photographer Pete Barrett has created imagery for a virtual who’s who list of creatives, advertising agencies and clients on a national level. He’s been shooting for two decades and has won a large number of awards. His work includes people, lifestyle, sports, and trying to get scenes in the most natural and organic way possible.

So it comes with no surprise that his project “The American Worker” is making the rounds right now. Pete tells us that it was a branch from another project; and that it really came about during his travels. The main idea, to Pete, is to meet loads of different folks and document all walks of life.

In some ways, you can call it a blend of photography and sociology.

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Street Photography vs Urban Geometry: What’s the Difference?

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer SNAP! Pro iPhone case review samples (18 of 21)ISO 251-1600 sec at f - 2.2

What is street photography? That’s a question that a lot of photographers can’t really answer. Why? Well, when you think about it, it’s a term that could mean that you literally just go out into the streets and shoot photos. But that’s not what it’s recognized as in the art world and that’s also not how it’s associated amongst those of us who do it.

In recent years, another trend has popped up that stems from street photography. It’s called Urban Geometry: and it’s a different type of capture process that revolves more around art vs documenting the human condition.

For those of you who are confused, keep reading.

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How to Get a Great Street Portrait in Three Minutes



When I approach a stranger to make a portrait, I don’t have a lot of time to work with. It’s not unusual for me to have as little as three minutes to get everything done and allow my subject to be on their way. So, my mind kicks into high gear and I consider not only what I’m doing with my camera, but also with my subject, the lighting, the background and so much more. It is a mental checklist that helps me to make the most of the time between my and my subject.Though it may not seem like a lot, the regular practice of it makes it an automatic and intuitive process for me today.

So, there are a lot of choices that I have to make.  Here are some of the things I do to ensure a good portrait in 180 seconds.

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How to Make Great Pre-Parade Pictures


Parades are a popular choice for photographers who want to make images of people. However, standing by the sidelines while people march or drive by doesn’t provide the most interesting and engaging photographs. Instead, I prefer to photograph people before and after a parade. It’s then that some of the best images are possible.

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7 Tips for Photographing People at Public Events


The best way to get past any fear that you might have of photographing strangers is to make pictures of people at public events. Be it a concert, parade or street festival, people are there to see and be seen.

The reservation that some might have about being photographed by someone that they don’t know seems to go by the wayside when they are part of a crowd. This makes it easier to approach people. They often feel very flattered to be noticed amongst a throng of hundreds or thousands.

But while it becomes easier to approach people, this same situation is not always ideal for making portraits. Here are some 7 tips that can help you contend with some of the frequent challenges of photographing people at a public event.

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Ulric Collette’s “Portraits Génétiques” Demonstrate Genetic Similarity by Merging Faces

Mother/Daughter: Julie, 61 & Isabelle, 32

Mother/Daughter: Julie, 61 & Isabelle, 32

All pictures in this article are © Ulric Collette and used with permission.

Genetics are awesome! We all learned the rules of inheritance in school: dominant outweight recessive. So if both your parents have brown eyes, you’ll have brown eyes, too. If only your mom has brown eyes, you’ll still have brown eyes because the genes for brown eyes are dominant. Only if both parents have blue eyes will the child have blue eyes, too. (Side note: I can tell from personal experience that this is true: my son has inherited his mother’s brown eyes, not the blue color of mine.) But how similar are two related persons really? One can easily tell father and daughter just by their looks, but it’s often difficult to pinpoint what exactly makes them look so similar. Well, Ulric Collette’s series of ‘genetic portraits’ (Portraits Génétiques in French) shows off just that, genetic similarity, by merging the faces of two relatives. And the results are quite impressive.

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Brian Smith: The Art of Photographing People

Jeff Gordon

Brian Smith is a portrait photographer who is recognized for his unique photographs of celebrities, athletes and politicians. With his photographic roots in traditional photojournalism, his career has blossomed into a unique voice in the world of portrait photography that has been in demand in both the editorial and commercial world. You can discover more of his work by visiting his website.

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