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Tips & Tricks

Street Photography Tips with Zack Arias

By Chris Nachtwey on May 20th 2014

Street photography is a beautiful thing when done correctly. It allows you to document the daily life around us that many people don’t notice. Photographers see the world differently. We can become fascinated by the old man sitting outside the corner store having a smoke, and while most people just walk by him, we stop and make a portrait of him.

Zack Arias is well known for his photography in many different genres, but what has always drawn me to Zack is his street photography. His ability to not only create a great image, but immerse himself in his surroundings, and make a connection with the people he photographs on the street is top notch. In the Fujifilm sponsored video below, Zack shares some great tips on how to make beautiful and compelling photos on the streets of Marrakech.




Sleight of hand: Try to be as inconspicuous as possible. Zack’s tip about acting like you are looking the back of your camera to check a photo, but really are taking the photo using the live view is ingenious. Granted you need live view, but most cameras have that these days.

Framing: Zack explains how using a natural frame, such as an archway, can give an image depth. Let life enter the natural frame and capture it as it does.

Go local: While not always practical, Zack suggest hiring  a local guide who can help you understand your surrounds and the cultural differences to help you find and make the images you want.

Make new friends: Zack uses the Fujifilm Instax camera to make images of the people he meets, and gives them a polaroid right on the spot. Can’t give someone an instant image? Just talk with the person, get to know who they are, and once you think they are comfortable with you, ask to make their portrait.

Go remote: If your camera has the ability to be controlled remotely, frame your shot, sit back and wait for the perfect time to hit the shutter.

Simple flash setup: Zack handholds one Speedlight bare, triggered by Pocket Wizards to add flash to some of his portraits. Lightweight, simple, and effective for all you strobists out there.




Seeing this video makes me want to go make some street photography right now! Zack does a great job of sharing tips that any of us can use to capture everyday life. It’s also a reminder to all of us to go explore, learn new things, and meet new people.

Via: ISO 1200

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Chris Nachtwey is a full-time wedding and portrait photographer based in Connecticut. He is the founder and creator of 35to220 a website dedicated to showcasing the best film photography in the world. Chris loves to hear from readers, feel free to drop him a line via the contact page on his website! You can see his work here: Chris Nachtwey Photography

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Barry Cunningham


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  2. Greg Faulkner

    Zack is a beardy genius :)

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