Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a street style photographer? We’ve asked Ali, from the street style photography blog StyleStreetStalker what the most important suggestions she would give someone who wants to explore this profession are.

Here are her 7 tips one must diligently follow in order to be a great street style photographer:

1. The camera – When starting out, knowing what camera and lens to use can be so daunting. I recommend a DSLR. I have a Canon and adore her!! Lens wise, it’s essential to get it right. For street style shots the best in my opinion is 50mm f/1.4. It’s very light and you can get some great depth of field at short distances.

2. The First Steps – Stopping fashionable individuals on the street is not easy, but the best way to do it is to be confident, compliment them and say why you want to take their pic and what you’re photographing for.  I have only had one ‘No!’ and that was because she had a raging hangover! Generally if they are super fashionable they won’t mind having that extra attention, but pick them carefully!

3. The backdrop – Once you have your subject, it’s now important you don’t waste the shot with a person eating a McDonalds in the background! If possible, pull them off the busy street onto a quieter one, then place them exactly where you need them and direct them if needed. Be confident and have a few poses you’d like them to do in mind before you start, e.g. walk and look back, etc…

4. Lighting – Obvious as it seems, the key to a great photograph is the lighting and how you use it. Make sure when you choose your location it has sufficient lighting, then position yourself with your back to the sun, so your subject is lit from the front.

5. Composition – Now, this is the deal breaker in a shot! You’ll need to develop an eye for this, but that can be done with practice, experimentation and the study of lots of photography. You can start with just looking at the picture as a whole before you take the shot, consider possibly positioning your subject off centre, or play with the background to make the whole picture more visually interesting.

6. Time – Take no longer than 5 minutes, so prep everything before you stop your subject. Make sure your settings on the camera are correct for the lighting, etc…