How To Predict Moments In Street Photography Before They Happen

 

As if finding amazing moments wasn’t hard enough, you also have to capture them in the blink of an eye. Especially in the beginning, that can be very frustrating!

Once you shift from finding moments to predicting moments, it gets much easier.

This has 3 major advantages for you:

1) More time to compose the shot

2) More time to adjust the settings

3) More time to develop an idea or story

 

Let me give you an example how I did it

I captured this moment in the early days of my street photography journey. It was one of the first moments that I predicted:

The Case With The Suitcase by Vijce | Düsseldorf, 2013

The Case With The Suitcase by Vijce | Düsseldorf, 2013

When I discovered the guy, he was standing in front of the pillar. It would’ve looked great if he hadn’t been slurping noodles like a maniac.

It looked like this, but less cool…

Quick sketch of the moment :)

Quick sketch of the moment :)

This is how I Predicted the moment

His train was about to arrive. Since eating fast food on the train in Germany is a bit frowned upon, I expected him to get rid of the container.

I saw a trash bin not far from him on the left. If he was going to throw it away, he would choose that one. Since Germany is rather safe, he will probably leave his suitcase behind.

That way, he will approach the suitcase from the left to pick it up - just like in a crime movie…

…and he did.

The Case With The Suitcase by Vijce | Düsseldorf, 2013

The Case With The Suitcase by Vijce | Düsseldorf, 2013

Since I had more time to compose the moment, I paid attention to the geometry in the background. Besides, I captured him right when he passed that door to give him a nice framing!

 

Your next steps to predict more moments

1) Shoot less and invest your time in observing and analyzing people

2) Pay attention to facial expressions, body movements and walking patterns.

3) Test your predictions over and over again.

The better you become at predicting, the more your street photography will improve! It’s definitely worth the effort and time…because that way you will capture golden moments with more time and less effort in the long term!