Welcome to step 5 of my 7 steps towards improving street photography. And here’s an area I feel I can write about from personal experience.
Step 5: Follow Your Heart.
Never mind what other people are doing, or what’s going to be popular on Instagram. What do we really, genuinely want to photograph?
I think we should all follow our hearts, because it’s that passion, inspiration and enjoyment that really pushes us forward, brings integrity of creative meaning into our work, and injects vitality into what we do.
So why wouldn’t you? It may seem obvious, but from my own experience it isn’t quite as simple as it may seem.
Following my heart is strangely difficult. It’s took me a while to realise the things I was photographing because I thought I should photograph them, as opposed to the things that genuinely interested me the most. And I’m not there yet – I’m still learning now, as I expect we all are.
It’s what’s often referred to as ‘developing a style’. But it’s intrinsically linked to following your heart. The more I’ve been out, the more I’ve realised what I really want to achieve with an image – and have needed to become more decisive about what I shoot.
I’m also more decisive about what I’m not going to shoot. By zoning in on what interests me the most, it has taken a lot of those other distractions away and reduced the pressure when I’m out and about. As a result, I’ve felt more relaxed and better focussed when it comes to chasing after the shots I really want.
Now, I’m not saying we should purposefully ignore certain shots if the potential is there. But I do think I’m in a better place, overall, to try to make the very best I can out of the images that mean the most to me.
Ultimately – I’ve simply enjoyed my street photography much, much more. And, really, that’s what it should all be about. So I think we should all remember to listen to our hearts, and not be afraid to follow our own paths and styles.
I really enjoyed taking this photograph because it combined two of my favourite elements of photography – a beautiful, atmospheric space to explore, and the opportunity to keep an eye open for interesting characters I could include in a shot.