China Street Photography Tips

Street photography in China is not widespread at all. Most of the Chinese population is unfamiliar with it, and wouldn’t understand why someone would be interested in street photography. It’s the opposite of cities in the Western world such as New York, where street photography is widely accepted and known. However, despite the lack of Chinese people who are used to street photography, there are still a few China Street Photography Tips you can use to get some amazing street shots that one would be proud to put in their portfolio.

Check with Locals

Unless you were born and raised in China, you are a stranger to the people who live there. Some people will not appreciate when one takes photos. Also, some laws in China forbid people from photographing certain things, and you definitely wouldn’t want to break one of those rules. The best thing to do is always ask before taking a photo. If you are going to take a portrait of someone, just ask first. Chances are they will smile and say yes, but there are instances where people will refuse and don’t want anything to do with being in a photo.

China Street Photography Tips Photo Gallery


It’s important to dress appropriately in the area that you are photographing. For example, if you are at a wedding, wear formal clothes. If you are shooting in a street market, just wear jeans. If you’re at a beach, wear shorts. It’s important that you don’t stick out and bring too much attention to yourself.


When shooting street photography, you don’t want to have a lot of gear with you. The best thing is to carry one camera and a couple of lenses simply. There is no need for a big camera bag. The less gear you have, the more photos you will be able to take. You will be able to walk further, work for a longer period, and there will also be a reduced risk of you being a target for theft.

Use Auto-Everything

Photographer Michael Reichmann wrote: “Use Auto-everything. I know this is going to get me kicked out of the fraternity, but set your camera on a high ISO (400) and set it in Program mode. The reason for this is that documentary photographs often happen in a split second. You don’t want to be thinking about whether or not you have a fast enough shutter speed selected or enough depth of field. Buy yourself some time by setting the camera so that you can swing from the sunny side of the street to a shadowed doorway in a split second, and still get the shot.”

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