Street Snap 101
Street snaps are fun, inspiring and above all timeless. Originally known as straight ups and coined by British i-D magazine in the 70s, street snaps exploded in popularity with FRUiTS taking pictures of Japanese street fashion in the 90s. Suddenly everyone wanted to have their photo taken! With the focus on the outfit only, people are guaranteed that their style will be captured for eternity. Today, street snaps are as relevant as ever and grant us a real insight into what people are wearing. Interested in having your own snaps taken? The COMM has comprised the What, Where and How of street snaps, so read on and find out!
Street snaps are all about showing real fashion worn by real people. Just as the name suggests, a street snap is a photo of a stylish person taken on the street. It’s about capturing the essence of a person, rather than creating a staged editorial photograph for a brand. You don’t have to be a model or a famous celebrity — having incredible style is all that matters! The first step to have your snap taken is to find your own unique fashion sense and wear your true colours on your sleeve. The more “you” you put into your outfits, the more likely you will stand out from the crowd! Why care about TikTok’s trending hairstyles or Margiela’s tabi shoes if you are just not feeling it? The key is to be different. Be bold and brave and above all yourself.
If you thought that developing your own fashion taste buds is difficult, finding the right location is a whole other challenge. As a rule of thumb — the bigger the city and the more trendy the area, the more likely you will run into a street fashion photographer. Think of Camden in London or Kreuzberg in Berlin. Evenings and weekends are great times to run into the right people as well. Keep an eye out for any fun, creative or fashion related events too! Tokyo Fashion Week always provides excellent opportunities if you want to be seen. Our pro tip: Take a close look at the backgrounds of street snaps of your favourite photographers. You might find a clue of the areas they frequent.
A street snap always involves at least 2 people — you and a photographer. Now that you are confident with your style, are you ready to find out who will take your photo? Unfortunately, wearing your best outfit in an ideal location doesn’t guarantee that any street photographer will be interested in taking your picture. Street photographers have a keen eye and tend to pick out only styles they want to feature. Think of gyaru magazine EGG that only focused on gyaru styles, while Tokyo Fashion features a lot of streetwear, grunge and new takes on already known styles. FRUiTS relies on Shoichi Aoki’s judgement of cool kids, while the Unknown Vlogs looks for fashionable Londoners wearing big brands. If you are confident with your style, you will know what kind of photographers might want to take a snap of you. Give it some thought and note down the magazines you want to be featured in. Knowing your photographers is just as important as knowing your style. Now that you know the What, Who and Where, you will need to figure out the How.
You nailed down your style, location and photographer. But how do you get your snap? The key to street snaps is connections, social media and people. More often than not, photographers will contact people they have snapped before to tell them about the time and place they frequent on a certain day to take photos. If you have never been snapped before, you will have to rely on the other two options. Get to know people in your scene, go to events and let people know who you are. You might run into some photographers or people who have been street snapped before! Another way is to keep checking the social media accounts of magazines, photographers, or people in your scene. Sometimes you find clues or even announcements online. Be proactive and get yourself out there!
After reading through all these steps, you might think that it’s a lot of effort to get street snapped — so why are we all still so eager about it? Street snaps are a fun way to engage with your local and global fashion community. It’s a way to connect to other people, build relationships and find opportunities. Knowing that your outfit is seen by thousands of people now and in the future is empowering. It’s a way to leave your mark on fashion history. Street snaps can lead to exciting opportunities as well. A street snap today might lead to a model casting or an invite to a fashion show the next day. Some popular faces on Tokyo Fashion have appeared in Vogue and some even started their own fashion companies after gaining popularity online. Just like your personal style, your reason is something you have to find for yourself. Be it for fun, connections or opportunities, street snaps give us the opportunity to leave our own personal mark on the global fashion scene.
Written by Stefanie.