I just returned from a wonderful trip organized by Strabo Tours to San Miguel De Allende. If you like beautiful orange and red buildings, narrow cobble streets, and some of the friendliest people you will ever meet, go to San Miguel. This town has a vibrant art scene with numerous galleries, and terrific shooting all over town. The best way to photograph San Miguel is go explore the colorful streets and parks.
I use three approaches to street travel photography. Number one…wait for it. Nothing is more relaxing than sitting on a bench watching a city come to life. You may find great images just sitting in a park or slowly walking the street. The shot above happened while I was slowly wandering the streets one morning heading to the central square. Being early in the morning resulted in very few cars in the street and helped this shot.
Number two…don’t wait for it. If I see a really interesting person walking, I may try to get ahead of them to photograph them as they walk past a scenic spot. Or I may just go up to them and ask to take their photograph. We visited a school one day, and the kids loved having their photographs taken. This boy happily stood still for a few shots. I used my 85mm 1.4 wide open to blur the background.
Number three..make it happen. Sometimes, no matter how long you wait, you just don’t get the image you envisioned. And to make it work, you might have to hire someone. I have hired models and non-models all over the globe, and it has resulted in some of my best travel images. I’m okay with supporting the locals this way if it is established already. On the other hand, sometimes donations of school supplies or other items works great as a trade for some images. In the image above, we hired a mariachi to pose with his guitar in front of this old building.