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  • Writer's pictureRodrigo Montiel

Uncovering the Amazing Parallels: Portrait vs Street Photography

Understanding and utilizing these similarities can help photographers improve their craft

When it comes to photography, folks often think of portrait and street photography as two completely different worlds. But as a seasoned photographer, I have come to realize that there are a lot of similarities between the two that are just too good to ignore.

It's based on the fact that the number 3 is considered aesthetically pleasing

First off, let's talk about composition. The rule of thirds, a photography 101 concept, applies to both portrait and street photography. By placing your subject off-center and along one of the lines that divide the image into thirds, you create a sense of movement and interest in the image. This is a classic photography composition technique. It's based on the fact that the number 3 is considered aesthetically pleasing to the human eye, a concept that goes back to ancient art and architecture. The use of the number 3 in art, design and architecture has been studied extensively and it's been found that it creates a sense of balance and harmony in the image.

leading lines to guide the viewer through the scene.

Next up, leading lines. These are great for creating depth and movement in your image. In portrait photography, you can use leading lines to guide the viewer's gaze towards the subject's face. And in street photography, you can use leading lines to guide the viewer through the scene. This creates a sense of direction and story in the image.

negative space can be used to create a sense of isolation and focus

Negative space is another element that applies to both genres. Negative space is the area around the subject that's left empty, and it can be used to create a sense of balance and simplicity in the image. In portrait photography, negative space can be used to create a sense of isolation and focus on the subject's face. And in street photography, negative space can be used to create a sense of emptiness and loneliness in the image. It's a great tool to create a sense of mood.

Red, it's the color of energy, passion and action. It's also known to increase blood pressure and heart rate

Finally, color theory. By understanding how to use color to create a sense of mood and atmosphere in an image, photographers can create visually striking and cohesive images. And it applies to both portrait and street photography. Color theory is a key element of photography, and it's essential to understand how to use it to create a specific mood and atmosphere in your image. One of the most striking color is Red, it's the color of energy, passion and action. It's also known to increase blood pressure and heart rate, making it a powerful tool for creating a sense of excitement and urgency in an image. So, use it wisely and it will enhance the mood of your image.


As you can see, there are many similarities between portrait and street photography that are often overlooked. Understanding and utilizing these similarities can help photographers improve their craft and create more impactful and interesting images. So next time you're out shooting, remember that portrait and street photography have more in common than you might think.

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