Start your First Street Photography Project

Starting a photography project can be quite daunting. How do you decide what to shoot? I was inspired by this video below.

I used the theme of hands and gestures as a starting point. So when I was out shooting on the street, my eye became drawn to people using their hands to gesture.

It seems very simple, almost too simple, but it’s a basic theme like this that can help you build a powerful portfolio of serious work.

Take for example Garry Winogrand Women are Beautiful” a book published in 1969. Essentially it is just a collection of candid images he shot of women. Its simple but powerful. You could search through your archive of images and perhaps notice a theme in your work that has been there all a long.


If you are just starting out in street photography, or are feeling like there is a lack of purpose to your images, starting a project and following a theme can help to bring together a consistent body of work.

Here are some simple themes that can get you started. Maybe try and find 10 images that fit the theme and move on until you find something that fits with what you want to continue to work on longer term.

5 Street Photography Project Ideas

  1. Juxtaposition of age - contrast young and old together
  2. Shapes - Aim to include a certain shape in your work
  3. Emotion - Try and capture a single emotion across a wide variety of subjects, maybe make it a challenge and aim to photograph anger.
  4. Gestures - Photograph people using their hands or bodies in interesting ways, or try to catch the subtle gestures people make subconsciously.
  5. Location - Photograph the same location over a period time and document how the people and the environment change.

Truthfully, these themes seem overly simplistic and obvious, but as I said those simple themes can help build a much stronger portfolio of work when viewed together.

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