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How to take photos at street markets

Street markets are filled with colorful foods, interesting clothes, and beautiful flowers—all of which makes them a great place to get creative with your photography. Capturing a street market on camera is a great way to document that area’s local life.


Ready to get started? Here are some tips for capturing fantastic photos during your next visit to a local market.


1. Go at the right time

A market can be a busy place, especially in the morning if vendors are selling fresh food and beverages. Check out the reviews of the location on Google Maps beforehand to get tips on the best time to go. If the market doesn’t have any shade at the vendor stalls, you may also want to plan your visit before or after midday—to avoid the harsh sunlight of the afternoon sun.

Fernando-Paz-Jemaa-el-Fna-1200.jpgCaption: A photo of women and men shopping at a vendor’s fruit and juice stall in Jemaa el Fna in Marrakech, Morocco. (Local Guide Fernando Paz)

2. Capture the color

As you stroll around a market, you’ll notice vibrant colors in the goods for sale such as fresh flowers or fragrant fruit. But you should also be aware of neutral colors, too. They help to bring out bold colors and make for an even more striking image.

2017-07-09-1000.jpgCaption: A photo of different colored roses in buckets placed in tiered rows for sale at a market in London. (Local Guide Ylenia Venturi)

3. Be a pattern sleuth

If there are bins or shelves full of items for sale, it’s a great opportunity to explore patterns when you are composing your shots. Use patterns effectively and you can end up with dynamic, unique images. To make a strong visual impact, try finding a pattern that extends from one edge of your frame to the other.

GI-461115532-1000.jpgCaption: A photo of bunches of corn drying on racks at a market in Chengdu, China. (Getty Images)

4. Shoot wide to set the scene.

While getting great closeup photos at a market is fun, be sure to also shoot an overall wide view to show the depth of the scene. This will capture the atmosphere and visually establish the location. Plus, it’ll give other Local Guides an idea of the variety of vendors located at the marketplace.

Olaf-Ritchi-VTT-Valencia-Spain-1000.jpgCaption: A wide angle view photo of the Central Market of Valencia with vendors selling food and produce at stalls in Valencia, Spain. (Local Guide Olaf Ritchi VTT)

5. Get to know the vendors

Don’t be shy! Say hello to vendors and small business owners at the market. It’s a wonderful way to get to know the members of the community and learn about their trades. Remember to ask permission before you start taking photos. Be polite and respectful to vendors as well as other customers. After getting to know a local vendor, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for their work, which can also help you photograph their stall.

LG-singha-watthananasaowalak-Thailand-1000.jpgCaption: A photo of a food vendor arranging produce on a table at an outdoor market in Phrae, Thailand. (Local Guide Singha Watthananasaowalak)

Have you taken beautiful photos at street markets? Share your Google Maps links in the comments below and tell us more about your process photographing them!

ShahMdSultan Level 9
Level 9

Re: How to take photos at street markets

Hello @Christina-NYC , Thanks for sharing these tips with us. These tips will help us to take better photos at street markets indeed.

Here is a photo that was taken from a street market in our country:

bangladesh-flag-waving-gif-animation-5.gifBDfacebook.pnggoogle-plus.pngBangladeshinstagram.pngMy ContributionJamalpur Local Guides
Faruk-BD Level 8
Level 8

Re: How to take photos at street markets

Hi @Christina-NYC   Thank you so much for explaining the issues of photographing the street markets.

MahabubMunna Level 9
Level 9

Re: How to take photos at street markets

Country to country actually different culture and tradition now i try to share South Asian few street shop photos @Christina-NYC













INGA1 Level 8
Level 8

Re: How to take photos at street markets

Thank you very much @Christina-NYC for your always useful and nice tips.

I like to make photos local markets in different countries,because they arevery colorful and original.

I eould like to share photos Moscow  market.IMG_20181110_232227_375.jpg







MdEmranulHoque Level 10
Level 10

Re: How to take photos at street markets

Hi @Christina-NYC thanks for sharing helpful street markets photography tips. 

Kumarsandeep121516 Level 7
Level 7

Re: How to take photos at street markets

Thanks for sharing knowledge 


Nick-ATH Level 7
Level 7

Re: How to take photos at street markets

@Christina-NYC it is very polite to ask before you shoot.

That way you almost approach to a higher level of photography.

Same thing applies almost to everything in life.

So true you've mentioned it.


"The big wheel keeps on turning"
memetraja4 Level 8
Level 8

Bls: How to take photos at street markets

Thank you. So helpfull

Connect Moderator
Connect Moderator

Re: How to take photos at street markets

You are a mind reader @Christina-NYC

I was just preparing a post about street markets, so this is the right time for a preview:-)

A couple of months ago I visited Krakow (PL) for the European Meet-up.

There is a beautiful street market just in the center of the city.

Here is my review:

DSC08622.jpgCaption: Coloured wooden boxes at Sukiennice market - Krakow (PL)