STREET PHOTOGRAPHY – How to be respectful


Although I myself don’t take a lot of pictures that fit into the Street Photography category, I, sometimes, am before a scene that I find too aesthetic not to photograph. Sometimes, many in fact, I have taken a picture of somebody on the streets and then felt bad about it. Today, I’ll try to make a list of the things I believe a photographer should do and don’t do when taking pictures of real people.


If you are taking a group picture, in a crowded area, do it proudly. enjoy the moment, don’t be sneaky. it makes people feel exchange. If you are taking a photo of one person, take the shot quick! don’t chase them down the street to take multiple shots.

Be aware of what is the law in the country/state where you are at the moment. In some countries, taking pictures of people in a public or private place is unlawful and can be really disrespectful and even take you to jail for a bit. Get informed so you don’t offend anybody.

If making pictures from the front, of people’s faces. Show gratitude. after taking it, you can say thank you, and show them the pictures and explain who you are and what you do. or maybe you don’t even need to talk at all, just smile at them, or wave or anything! (from the pictures from this post: I didn’t say anything to the couple since the picture was from the back. In the bus pictures, I smile the young guy on the right, and from the ‘Pride’ picture, I smiled at him and he asked me if I liked his outfit and we laughed.)

Always make them look good. Don’t take sad or degrading shots. take shots when they smile or look interesting, cool.

Choose your target right, don’t take pictures of children, the disabled, homeless people, the elderly, people with mental conditions… always get permission from them and if they agree, make them look and feel good.

Avoid shooting pictures at the wrong time, wrong place. I would never take pictures at funerals, hospitals, people fighting or crying, police arrests…

Set the mood yourself, you could start talking to some people, make them laugh and then snap that picture. it is respectful and beautiful.

Always think to yourself: How would I feel?


Hope you liked this post. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate in commenting below or contact me.  If you want to collaborate in the blog, with your experiences or your trip’s photos, get in touch!

Be wise!

9 thoughts on “STREET PHOTOGRAPHY – How to be respectful

Add yours

  1. Reading your blog I see started Feb 2! You’ve had many good posts since then! This one was especially good; I’ve always felt shy about taking post . Good info!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting post. I feel you should ask permission before you take photos of people. As you say, shows respect. Always wonder if you should ask permission when taking interior photos too? For example, a quirky bar or restaurant.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would probably do that too, I see people taking pictures in restaurants and see others get uncomfortable too… I think it is best to ask first, or tell after. Thanks for the comment!


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