Street style photography has become commonplace practice, gaining momentum from being constantly viewed. People who are uncomfortable posing in front of many people see other people doing it so frequently it becomes less uncomfortable. This has aided in popularizing this style of photography for modern day bloggers and Instagram fanatics. Street style – or perhaps more specifically, urban/city style – has become one of the most popular genres of photography in recent pop culture. Street style is often referred to as a fashion choice, however, I’d argue that is not necessarily the case since all city wear can be debated to be street style, but not all photos give us the vibe of street style photography. It is simply location (ie. on the street verses in the forest) that differentiates one classification from another. However, if this were true, you might be wondering why your photos do not yield the same effect as your favourite street style blogger. Creating and maintaining an aesthetic is a much more trying feat than one might imagine. Therefore, I’ve compiled some tips to help you gain an understanding of what to look for in recreating the street style aesthetic.
- Picking a location
A surprise to no one, picking the right location is instrumental to eliciting the appropriate vibe. For example, it is difficult to interpret a modern, minimalist aesthetic from the havoc crackling of a cabin fire. If you live in the city, a street style feed is probably the easiest to accomplish since your location can be as close as the bottom of your steps. Look for interesting architecture that compliments, but does not distract from your outfit. Additionally, it is important for your looks to parallel the location. This means if you’re planning to take photos at a cute coffee shop, choose a complimentary outfit, or if you’re taking photos in a rural area, choose your outfit appropriately. This is not a necessity, but it does aid in increasing the production quality of the photo.
As I mentioned above, it helps to make sure everything in your photo works together. It boosts the quality of the image, as well as helps you create a cohesive aesthetic. From activewear to business casual, quite a few styles can be complimented with an urban backdrop. You can craft your own style with this one, but it is beneficial to stick to a limited range of colours. I personally like to limit myself to neutral tones and recombinable pieces to increase rewearability. A common trend of street style is layering pieces. Layering can instantly transform your outfit between styles and differentiate your look from passerby’s.
Posing is not as important of a note as the former, however, it definitely helps. All I’m going to mention here is that how you pose depends on the concept of the image. For example, if we refer back to the coffee shop example, you might want to pose candidly, pretending not to notice the camera. However, if you’re posing on some long steps you might want to attempt a more exaggerated pose that you wouldn’t want for the coffee shop photo. For some posing tips you can refer to one of my previous posts where I talk about some aids to awkward posing!
If you edit your own photos, here is where you can really manipulate your image to suit your needs. In the post production phase, you can compromise some of the previous tips and revive them in editing. For example, if your location did not suit your needs, it is possible to make the image appear to remain “in sync” with the rest of your images with a consistent colour palette. If you want to edit your street style photos, you should take into account what your style is, or what kind of effect you want to evoke in the viewer. Film grain and scratches with low contrast and desaturation aid in a nostalgic feel, washed out photos with a lot of black space compliment grungy looks, and images with clean lines and mostly white space for minimalists, just to name a few.
In an urban city landscape, it is easy to scout locations and make your way into a street style niche. Since street style images are creatively limited in terms of composition (ie. The whole outfit must be in the photo, it can’t be too far away, etc.), the outfit, background, and/or vibe of the photo has to do most of the work in order to set it apart from other photos. Any spot amongst the bustling streets of Vancouver is as good as any to find fashion bloggers, instagrammers, and models laughing in the distance at the direction of a camera. If you are new to the blogging community and happen to live in the city, a street style aesthetic would be an ideal choice to get a jumpstart in the industry!