People or No People: Travel and Street Photography

This week I’d like to talk about travel  and street photography. It’s difficult to get photos without people in them sometimes. One way to get around that problem is to go to everything early, like break of dawn early. Going late can work out great as well. But if you are with a group or those times just aren’t available, then you’ll have to learn to be patient. You can also make those random photo bombers work to your advantage. In fact, I think I prefer some photos with people in them. Otherwise, it can be boring with no point of reference. Let the people tell the story. It might not be the story you meant to tell. Sometimes it’s even better.

When in Cuba, we were often the squares early and people were sparse. But sometimes there were just so many people I knew that I would never be able to wait out all of them. I usually travel with groups and we are always moving fast and on the go. Ask my sister, I’m always taking up the rear, hoping to get the shot without a person in it. But I’ve gotten to where I wait for a person to come into the frame. I try to shoot the scene with and without. But busy tourist spots don’t often offer that luxury. So, I try to make it work for me. When it comes to what sells, don’t ask me. I don’t know. I have sold photos with people and photos without people. It really depends on your buyer and how that photo makes them feel. A photo from downtown Knoxville at Christmas is full of people, I’ve sold several prints of this photo. Quite a few of them to people outside of Tennessee. But I shoot for myself and if someone likes it enough to buy it, great.

If you are at a tourist site, historic or otherwise, look around and see if there is a different view that others aren’t clamoring to shoot. Or use those people to your advantage. You can also desaturate, crop, or use a photo editing program to remove them. That’s often easier said than done. Be sure to click on the photos and read the descriptions for explanations about why the people work in these photos.





I love feedback and comments, so be sure to say something! Also, if you have questions, I’ll my best to answer them!


3 thoughts on “People or No People: Travel and Street Photography

  1. Agreed with you that having people in photographs is an advantage. My two cents on this – A city is nothing without its people. A city is defined by its people, although it’s usually associated with landmarks. So if you’re taking photos of city, why not have people in it? 🙂

  2. Pingback: Color Vs. Black & White | Purple Rosemary

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