A street photographer’s essential checklist for city trips

Street photographers need streets to satisfy their needs. There’s no way around that logic. And there are streets all around us. However, sometimes visiting a different city and exploring the roads with your camera is fun and refreshing.

Visiting new cities with your camera helps you to find new scenes. Look at things with fresh eyes. It may give you new ideas to try in your town. You may get to meet new people and get inspiration from their work.

Checklist to make your street photo city trip a success

This checklist helps you plan your trip. Nothing too intense. The basics are covered, and you can focus on exploring and photographing the streets.

Pre-booking your trip

How big is the city, and how much time do you need? Too much time can make it boring, and too little time might leave you frustrated.

Then consider what weather you might encounter. This will tell you what to wear and what type of images you might expect.

Research when the sun rises and sets. If it’s short days, perhaps nighttime photography can be fun. If the days and golden hours are longer, that could push you in another direction.

Are there any laws or rules for photographing in public? In some countries and cities, they might be very strict. In others, not at all. 

And how does public transport work? It is optional to know for your photos, but it will help you get to locations more smoothly.

Booking your street photography city trip

Book your hotel or other place to stay. Choose one that’s accessible. So you can change those batteries or memory cards easily if they are too full.

Book the airplane or other transportation there. Perhaps even local buses or trains if that’s necessary.

Are you planning on visiting some museums? Book your visit there if necessary. The same goes for restaurants and bars you want to try out.

Packing for your street photo city trip

Make sure to pack clothes and hygiene products. I have a full checklist for that here:

For gear: bring your camera and lenses. Some extra batteries and memory cards help, too. Bring your laptop and card reader, depending on how fast you like to get to editing. I often just sit in my room in the evening and already edit that day’s photos.

It is also helpful to make cards with your name and information. You can hand it out to people you might photograph and want to get their photo.

Depending on your style, bringing a tripod and filters can also be helpful.

More street photo research for your city trip

Before leaving, it can be helpful to look up online what other photographers did over there.

On Instagram, I often browse locations and hashtags linked to the destination. Not to copy but to get a feel for the city already.

On YouTube, I research POV videos of street photographers in the city. This gives an even better idea and shows you how people interact. It also often gives you ideas for routes too.

Blog posts are often interesting, too. Giving you ideas for where to eat, stay, and visit.

As street photography is never something you can map out, don’t over-plan. Build a frame for the trip, but don’t schedule every minute. Give yourself room. The research and planning are only to have something to fall back on and to give you room to focus on your photography.

Where are you heading next? Let me know in the comments below!

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