If you enjoy taking casual photo walks without carrying lots of gear, you may sometimes find it challenging to find good light for street portraits. In this video from Adorama, Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge takes you for a walk and lets you find good light and compositions with him. He shares some useful tips for finding light anywhere, anytime, and they will help you raise your street portraits to a new level.
As the video follows Pye and his model on a walk throughout the city, it shows you different scenes he found for taking photos – and you can find similar ones wherever you live. Think of leading lines (like stairs or window bars) for your composition or the sunlight reflecting from buildings for your light source.
In addition to lighting, look for interesting shapes and compositions, and include elements like billboards, and graffiti. Play with colors; add motion to your shots: have your model walk or include moving cars into the composition.
When the sun sets, there’s a whole bunch of lighting options. If your city is still decorated from the holidays like mine is, you can use those giant decorations as your light source and for some neat bokeh. Look for store windows, as they are kind of like huge softboxes. You can also incorporate neon signs and light billboards as your light sources for a splash of color in your portraits
Make sure to watch Pye’s video for inspiration and have his tips in mind. The next time you go out on a photo walk with a friend or a model to pose for you, I’m sure you’ll look at the surroundings differently and find a lot of creative options you haven’t noticed before.