Through My Eyes

by Rijan Hamidovic 4 months ago in how to

Street Photography

Through My Eyes

I started with street photography the moment I picked up the camera, actually I borrowed the camera from my friend Maja. It was some kind of Sony DSLR I remember, did the job. I was so excited, and the first thing that I shot was the people on the street. That was it.

I was just inspired by the colours on the street, the mood, the air, the faces, emotions that you can capture in one place. So many stories happening, so many destinies, happiness and sadness.

Whenever I'm out on the street I am trying to understand what those people I'm taking a photo of, what they have been through, what kind of mood they are in, are they anxious, happy or sad, confused, lost.

It's so emotional when you look through the viewfinder; they can't see you, you are looking at them, while their mind Is drifting all over the place. You can tell if they are happy, you can almost see when people are about to cry, or when they are crying, I experienced so many things on the street.

There were some heartbreaking moments, especially when there are children involved. It's just hard when you see a child sleeping on the street, It turns my stomach, I feel helpless, and no matter what I think I'm about to do, it's not going to change his state. And then I get to know them better, we hand out together, It feels better.

And of course, many happy moments, like young couples getting engaged, married, seeing people smiling, in love.

There was one time I was near the Opera House and I was doing some night photography and behind me, I saw a couple kissing, smiling, and I quickly turned around and saw the guy taking the ring out of his pocket, what a great moment to be there!

It got even better, half an hour later, another guy purposed to his girl, magical night!

Things like that, just make my day.

It's a cliche, but I would love for everyone to be happy, but It doesn't work that way, we all have our trials In life, and once we go through them, better time shows up.

So no matter what happens, I would love to be around and document as much as I can from this life.

On the technical side of street photography, it's exciting when it comes to the lens choice. Are you going to some portraits shots? Closeups? Wide-angle street shots? It depends what your theme for that day is.

My choice would be always the 85mm, second in line, 50mm, and after that a wide-angle lens, anything above 20mm.

Different lenses allow you to compose your shot the way you want it; shallow depth of field will give you a nice bokeh, with a wide-angle lens you have an option to capture the surrounding together with your subject, lots of possibilities.

Being on the streets relaxes me, I meet a lot of different people, meet new friends. But, not everyone is happy to see me with my camera, but that is ok. Can't get upset and angry straight away, not everyone is comfortable with being in front of the camera, I know I'm not.

But walking around and capturing those stories, makes me feel sad sometimes. I couldn't just leave those stories behind, go home as nothing happened. I usually talk to people, many of them, curious what about their story, what they are going through, trying to understand them, and when you hear something heartbreaking, you take that with you, and I'm like that, I carry that with me and think about It, and then one day it just disappears. It will stay with me If I put a photo next to it, I have the face, the place, memories captured.

Every time I leave, those faces, emotions, they are with me. I hope when I come next time, many of them will be smiling; the homeless guy on the corner will not be there anymore, maybe at least in a shelter house, with better food, friends. I wish things change for better, for everyone.

Life, that is street photography for me, it is raw, unpredictable, emotional, I love it.

My advice to you would be next.

Feel the streets, be companioned with the people, their lives; don't try to get the shot even if you have to get into someone's face, don't be an a**hole, it's not worth it. Street photography is a different way of art, approach it in a proper way and you will get amazing results.

Be patient, wait for the shot, try to compose a good photo, colour, light. Don't rush it just to take any photo but don't overthink it either, things happen fast while you are on the streets. Try to act fast, and get your shot.

Don't be shy, It will slow you down. Approach people, talk to them, share your story with them; what you do, who you are; they will feel much better after they meet you, and then you can take an even better shot.

About the lens choice. Choose a lens that will suit your idea, your mood you want to capture from the streets. Try different times of the day, morning, noon, night, see what suits you.

Feel free to explore everything, take a tour around your city, explore, research where you can take the next shot; in the end, it all depends on you and what you had in mind for that day.

Just go out there, share your story, your moment. Everyone is unique, every photo tells a different story.

Let's hear yours.

Good luck.

how to
Rijan Hamidovic
Rijan Hamidovic
Read next: What Makes Us Photographers?
Rijan Hamidovic
See all posts by Rijan Hamidovic