Street Photography using Mobile Phone Camera

Mithun Saha

India

Photography is an art of vision that can be expressed through a bunch of pixels and hence should not always depend on high budget devices. Nowadays Smartphone has replaced cameras and other devices in many aspects of photography. It is because budget phones have decent cameras and can get you some amazing results. Though the camera and lens in your Smartphone isn’t as good as a professional digital camera, but in street photography, using a phone sometimes can be of advantage.

There are several advantages in using mobile camera for photography. You can always carry your mobile phone wherever you go and so it is with you all the time unlike bulky cameras which are often difficult to carry. With your mobile phone it is simple: get a moment, take out your mobile and freeze the frame.

I normally do street photography and the most important advantage of using mobile phone in street photography is that you can get closer to your subject without being noticed. This will give you an opportunity to steal moments of life.

“If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough.” – Robert Capa

In street photography we have to capture candid moments of strangers and deal with their queries while taking photographs. So, the most important thing is to be a part of their daily activity so that you can capture real moments without being noticed. How will you do that? ‘Smile’ always works; stick a smile in your face always. Spent time, talk to them, respect them, show them photographs and answer their questions in gentle manner with a smile, so that they would absorb you as a part of their activity and you will get core emotions and actions of their life. Is it not easy? Yes, and it is enough to overcome the fear of photographing strangers.

But then, why at all do street photography with mobile smartphones? The best part of doing street photography with your Smartphone is that you don’t need to carry any bulky equipment around. People become conscious in front of bulky cameras and because of that you will not be able to capture core moments. But they will not even notice you are photographing them if you are using a mobile phone camera, as mobile phone is a part of everyday life. Your phone is lighter than a digital camera and it is easy to hold in one hand and it can help you get closer to the subject and you can try different perspectives of the frame. Mobile Cameras work well in low light too, so you can get night shots easily. Normally a mobile phone’s primary camera focuses on everything within a particular range and it is an asset for street photography because in street photography it is important to focus on every layer of the photograph to add more life and story to the entire composition. In street photography what matters more is the content and story rather than the quality and clarity of the photograph and for this purpose mobile phone cameras are as good as any high quality cameras.

Few tips for Mobile Phone Street Photography:

  1. Switch on your camera when you are ready to shoot.
  2. Make sure that your flash and click sound are off.
  3. Always be observant and always be ready.
  4. Keep smiling and shoot away, don’t be afraid. Smile will give you confidence.
  5. Hold your mobile in one hand, it will be less noticeable.
  6. Don’t hide yourself or your mobile phone too much; it will be doubtful to the people.
  7. Shoot often and shoot more than one shot.

Whether you shoot with an iPhone or even a low budget phone, just go out and shoot. Relax and smile, enjoy the time you have out on the streets. To conclude, I only say: be ready, search for the moments and enjoy clicking.

Here I am sharing 10 photographs taken by mobile phone camera: