Capturing the Decisive Moments in Street Photography

Capturing the Decisive Moments in Street Photography by stolen maps

The very moment when everything falls into place and together has a meaning. Every single detail in photograph is a part of its story. The candid image seems like a deliberately composed photograph. Decisive Moments in street photography are really hard to capture perfectly, not to mention, of course, finding them first of all.

Decisive moments occur at random and you need to be lucky to capture them. But of course, you can increase your chances of finding a nearly perfect arrangement.

Tips for Capturing Decisive Moments in Street Photography—

charlie chaplin poster lloking at a woman walking on road

Interesting Places

There are higher chances of capturing decisive moments in moderately crowded places. You should visit “interesting” places like markets, gardens, bridges, etc.

Such places often have a lot of people or vehicles. There are better chances of getting a meaningful picture than on streets with very few people around.

Some places of your city that are often visited by tourists might be good to click some interesting pictures.

also read: Beginner’s Guide: Camera Settings for Street Photography

Stay Alert/Aware

This is a simple one but extremely important while out on the streets. Decisive moments occur quickly and randomly. Your awareness can be the difference between a masterpiece and a missed opportunity.

You need to stay aware of your surroundings, observe people and look for patterns.

Keep your Camera Ready

Keep the camera in your hand, ready to shoot whenever something interesting happens. It’s better to have wrist-strap for your camera than a neck-strap.

People often make the mistake of hanging cameras around their neck. When something happens, they waste time grabbing the camera, turning it on and pointing to shoot.

In case of decisive moments this much delay can be disastrous in street photography.

also read: How to choose the best Lens for Street Photography

Use Wide-Angle Lenses

Very often, decisive moments are missed because the subjects are out-of-focus.

Greater depth-of-field is better for photographing decisive moments in street photography. Using a wide-angle lens (35 mm generally) along with smaller aperture is great to get most of the things in-focus.

Remember not to go too high with f-stop (f1.8 or f1.4) with a wide-angle lens. It only disturbs the balance and makes photos out-of-focus.


Street photography thrives on creativity. As a photographer, you need to be creative, passionate and see things normal people can’t. Creativity needs to be developed and cherished at the same time.

Not exploring new things, being repetitive and living in your “comfort zone” only hampers the creativity in you.

Never restrict yourself to a particular type of photography style. Always try to explore new ideas, styles, techniques.

Don’t be Afraid

Candid street photographers are always afraid of getting into some trouble. What if someone catches you? What if they call the cops? These are the fears you’ll have to deal with and there’s no way around.

While out on the streets, you need to be honest and polite. If someone notices you clicking their photographs, never show that you’re frightened. It suggests that you’re doing something wrong (technically, you are!). It will be great to show them your business card (you should have one). Talk to them politely, try to calm them down and always be honest.

Obviously, nobody would like to be photographed without consent. However, most of them will agree if you behave politely and genuinely request to keep their photos. Praise them a little that they looked great and you wanted to add their photos to your collection. If that doesn’t work, offer to delete the photos.


I’ll wrap up by stating that you need to capture what you feel is ‘decisive’. I mean a moment is considered decisive by you only. The moments that strike an emotional chord in you or has a strong meaning or impact can be decisive moments for you.

You don’t get much of those meaningful decisive moments in street photography, so pick your DSLR and get ready to hit the streets.

Image Credit: The featured image of this post— “Gaze” has been taken by ©Zulfikhar Ahmed. All rights belong to the owner of photo.

also read: Ideas to make your Travel Memories Last Forever

a woman artist on street sketching an old man picture
a man bowing down begging while people walk by
a woman having makeup looking thorugh glass window

Well, there you go! That’s all I had to share. Don’t forget to drop a comment down below if this post helped you in some way or if you’d like me to write about something or maybe just to say hi!

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