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Treat Street Photography Like A Video Game

In my previous post I shared some of the main places I visited during my time in Mumbai - the first stop on my 10 week adventure traveling India - along with my photos from those places.

Another place I visited one day which I did not mention, was Crawford market, a popular market in South Mumbai where you can buy spices, household goods, cosmetics, fruit and veg and more. For a street and travel photographer, markets are just a fun place for me to go and take photographs and for the sheer number of photos I took on that day, I am dedicating an entire post just for that.

The streets leading up to Crawford market are fun enough by themselves and a superb place for street photography. The streets are so busy, there is so much chaos, so much going on, so many characters and people interacting with each other, market traders trying to make a sale, people pushing goods on trailers, traffic trying to fight through the crowds - everywhere you look there is a photo opportunity and something crazy going on.

My photos above were taken on the streets as I made my way from my accommodation to Crawford market, about a 20 minute walk. However, it took me considerably longer as I was having so much fun photographing all the madness and chaos. The streets were so bustling and so active, unlike anywhere I have ever seen before and it was so much fun.

Once you get into the groove as a street photographer life begins to feel like a video game. You get so immersed in looking for photographs it feels like you are in another world, you forget all the realities of life and stop worrying even about how people will react to your camera. Instead you are just walking around this new world, observing different characters, observing colour and light and all the different things the world keeps throwing at you.

It's like this new, crazy world is simply throwing different photography opportunities at you at a rapid pace and the object of the game is to capture as many of those moments as possible. The more you successfully capture, the higher you score. That is how street photography begins to feel like for me. It's a game, it's immersive, it's fun, life becomes crazy and full of different characters interacting in different ways, it becomes colourful, dynamic - my senses are heightened and I'm just reacting to everything around me, trying to capture it as best and as creatively as I possibly can. That is the aim of the game!

You can view some of the madness I am talking about on the streets of Mumbai in my video below. (Skip to 9:20 if you'd just like to watch the streets leading up to Crawford Market)

Once I arrived at Crawford market, it was still very busy and there was still just as many photography opportunities. I also had people asking me to take their photo which then really gave me the confidence to ask other people if I could take their photos - something I usually struggle with. This is the great thing about travelling and also why markets are a great place to practise street photography - most people here will not mind you taking their photos and it's a much more relaxed atmosphere than just random streets where you live for example.

Street photography is probably the most daunting genre of photography there is, it can be intimidating going out into the world and taking photos of strangers, not knowing how they will react. But taking the first photo is always the hardest. Just take that first photo, no matter how bad it is and instantly you will feel more comfortable. From there, start to see it as a video game, treat it as fun and get immersed in this new world where you're simply reacting to whatever the latest level is throwing at you.

Have fun and good luck on your new high score!


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Chris Gouge
Chris Gouge
Jul 03, 2019

Thanks very much Lee 😃


Lee Walker
Lee Walker
Jul 03, 2019

Some good advance! Very creative and fun way to approach street photography!

Awesome shots! Plenty of context and colour - Each shot tells a story :)

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