Overcoming Your Fear of Street Photography in 31 Days

If you’ve ever gone out to try your hand at street photography you probably experienced your fair share of anxiety once you were out there. Taking photos of strangers, even on crowded city streets, takes practice and time, time that’s mostly spent getting over the natural fear of taking people’s photos without their permission. But the fact that it requires practice and time doesn’t mean that a few good tips won’t speed the process along significantly.

So, in the hope that you would stop missing phenomenal shots by simply not taking them, street photographer Eric Kim has put together a 31-day “program” of sorts that will walk you through the initial stages of becoming a street photographer. From identifying your specific fears to the final challenge of standing your ground in front of an angry subject who is threatening to call the cops and telling them to go ahead.

He’s put all 31-days into an ebook that he’s giving away for free, and all he’s asking in return is for some help getting it edited and looking pretty. Head over to his website and leave a comment if you’re looking to help better the book, or check out the entire PDF version by clicking here. And if you’re going to be taking on your fears of street photography this month, then good luck and happy shooting!

FREE EBOOK: 31 Days to Overcome Your Fear of Shooting Street Photography [Eric Kim Street Photography]

Image credit: Street Series: Cafe Manc by Caza_No_7

  • Tom Keliher

    If you post a photo on a website, blog, social media, you have made it commercial whether you get money for it or not. Because everything on the web is commercialized.

    The problem with so many young people today is they think they have a “right” to take photos of people minding their own business in public. No, you do not. Every moron with a cell phone thinks they are paparazzi or a photojournalist now.

    Lack of decency, respect, and morals is the way it is today. No longer are people courteous and mindful of what is right or wrong.

  • Steve

     It depends how you do it.  You can be rude with or without a camera.  You can also be polite and nice to people.  I don’t see that just because someone is taking photos it can be compared to starring someone down.

  • MikeC366

    I love street photography. I’m going to devour this with a fervor unseen before. 

    Here are a few of mine: 


  • Echostation3T8

    Commercial purposes meaning you are using said photos for an ad campaign or some similar nonsense. Posting pics to a photoblog or news service does not qualify.

    Also: I totally agree with your point about young idiots with cellphone. However I must point out that a fair amount of breaking news relies on said idiots as they are everywhere newsworthy things happen.. and good photogs are not always on scene.

  • mishobaranovic

    I think your real problem is jealousy.  I think you and a few others here are jealous of his success. You know why his workshops sell out every time? It’s because he is the opposite of fake.  He is positive, open, inclusive and helpful.  He makes street photography fun. He cuts through all all the negativity and self-righteousness that infests online street photography.  

    I’d reserve character judgements until you’ve actually met the guy and had a beer, until then, it’s you that sounds a bit like an ‘obnoxious tool’. 

  • LokiDane

    I’ve only been doing street tog for a couple months now in Melbourne, Australia and have found the public quite welcoming. But where I’ve differed from some of the other street togs, all up in your face, pushing for a reaction, using an ultra wide lens as an excuse to get up close. I and the majority keep some personal space. We use 50 on a crop or 85 full. We don’t take a humiliating shot of somebody scoffing down a burger and I make sure if there’s a kid involved the parent is well aware of me b4 I even raise my pissy 60D. If I’m at the roller derby or cultural festival I make myself known to an organizer. We exchange emails and away I go. Any probs, go see Bob. He knows me.

    Eric showed common sense at the beginning of his program. But unfortunately i feel he got too greedy for the raw emotion at the end for my liking.

  • Van Go

    Street photography is already considered a classic – for 40+ years, people had appreciated photos of people doing unique moments and the like. In those 40+ years, had there been one incident of people complaining about their faces imprinted on quality photo paper? I don’t think so. I don’t hear people complaining about their privacy being invaded by some dude with a camera. Well, not a major news report about that, but still, I don’t see or hear any news regarding that.

    Mansgame, if you think street photography is illegal/crazy/unjustified/whatever, better keep it to yourself. You’ll just make a fool out of yourself. You and your narrow-minded views about street photography.

    Oh, and by the way, street photographers DON’T use a telephoto/zoom lens in capturing moments. >.< The paparazzi only use those huge chunks of glass for their "job." Read a li'l more, brah. ;) 

  • Kato

    The reason they are slime is because they harass people to get their pic, they stalk people, hide, set traps etc just to get their pic….street photographers don’t do that!!!!…there isnt a more interesting subject than a person just going about their daily life….and if u take a moment to study the pics u will see from the faces – it’s not staged – isn’t that what photography is about…capturing a moment…

  • csmif

    some of the greatest photographers of the 20th century would disagree with you.