The Best Beginner Spots for Street Photography

What to Look For


Peter Pickering

4/29/20242 min read

So you’ve got a camera, you’re buzzing to hit the streets, and you're ready to capture those raw, candid moments that only street photography can offer. But where to start? Finding the right spot to begin your street photography journey can make all the difference. Here’s a little guide on some top-notch locations that are perfect for beginners, and what to keep your eye on when you’re there.

1. Busy Marketplaces

Nothing screams ‘street photography’ like the chaotic, colourful backdrop of a bustling marketplace. These spots are goldmines for vibrant photos, packed with human interaction, diverse textures, and a spectrum of emotions. Focus on the exchanges between vendors and customers, the detailed merchandise on display, and the overall energy of the place. Markets are usually open and welcoming to photographers, making them ideal for those just starting to shoot in public.

Tip: Try capturing the contrast between stillness and motion—like a vendor waiting patiently amid the flurry of shoppers.

2. Festivals and Street Fairs

If you’re lucky enough to catch a local festival or street fair, prepare for a feast of visual delights. These events are filled with expressive faces, dynamic movements, and cultural elements that can speak volumes through your lens. Pay attention to people’s expressions and interactions. Festivals often feature performances, costumes, and decorations, all of which offer rich photographic opportunities.

Tip: Don’t just shoot the performers; the crowd’s reactions can be just as compelling and tell a story of their own.

3. Quiet Alleys and Side Streets

Now, if you’re not a fan of crowds, quiet alleys or less-traveled side streets can be surprisingly fruitful for street photography. These areas allow you to focus more on composition and the interplay of light and shadow. Look for interesting architectural elements, graffiti, a lone passerby, or the way light spills around a corner. The subdued setting can help you concentrate on mastering your camera settings without the pressure of a fast-paced environment.

Tip: Early morning is a great time to explore these areas, as the soft light creates beautiful textures and the streets are generally quieter.

4. Coffee Shops and Outdoor Cafés

Coffee shops and cafés with outdoor seating are excellent for street photography. They offer a blend of intimacy and openness, perfect for practicing your skills. Capture people in conversation, or lost in thought over a cup of coffee. These spots are great for practicing portrait-like shots and candid expressions from a respectful distance.

Tip: Sit with a coffee and observe for a while; let the scenes unfold naturally before you start snapping away.

5. Public Parks

Parks are where life unfolds leisurely—kids playing, couples strolling, people jogging, or just sitting and reading. Each of these activities has a story to tell. Parks also offer a mix of natural and man-made elements, providing diverse backdrops for your photos.

Tip: Look for interactions between people and nature, like someone feeding the birds or a child playing with leaves.


When choosing spots for street photography, think about what kind of story you want to tell through your images. Each location offers unique opportunities to showcase your perspective of the world. Remember, the best photos often come from seeing the ordinary in extraordinary ways, so keep your eyes open and your camera ready. Happy shooting!

© Peter Pickering 2024.

The Best Beginner Spots for Street Photography: What to Look For