How To Save Time by Adopting Minimalistic Creative Process in Street Photography

Peter Gróf
5 min readDec 30, 2021


Photo by Peter Grof, 2021.

One of the best ways to improve anything is this: Make it simple. To make it so, you may even finish reading this article now.

The multitude of decisions requiring our attention in life is astonishing. The same goes for photography: choosing cameras, lenses, learning how they work, choice of subjects, ways to post-process the images, or deciding on which online platforms to use.

Overwhelming, isn’t it? So many decisions, so much uncertainty!

Photo by Peter Grof, 2021.

Gear, gear, gear… Not anymore!

Back in the day, I’d carry a large backpack. My back is not large, but my pack was! Camera bodies, three to four lenses, tripod, filters, and other things.


I wanted to be out there longer! I wanted to have it easy! Does making great images require carrying a great amount of gear? Soon, I switched to one camera, one lens setup. I wanted to be sure and not sell anything I might need! The crazy analyst inside me took over. He likes data. Data make decisions easy.

After going through my whole library and several years’ worth of images, I found something shocking. Despite slight disgust concerning my early works; think selective color, and overuse of frames; 90% of my images were made with the same camera and the same lens?! Fixed 35mm lens. That can’t be right! Yet, it was. Over years, my portrait, telephoto, and wide-angle lenses accounted for just about 10% of my images. One in ten. Consider the price per image and let that sink in.

Yet, there it was. Black on white. Mostly black and white, though.

Switching to one camera with one lens was painless. I already shot that way. Your way is your own. One camera, one lens system might be too restrictive for some, while freeing to others. Look at what your subjects are, what you need for your vision, and go from there. I am sure there are ways you can optimize. Downsize and invest your money where it makes the most sense.

Most importantly, just pick a camera and make stuff. Quit tolling over which one, you’re losing time.

Photo by Peter Grof, 2021.

Trust the process

With the gear out of the way, let’s look at how the street photography process can be stripped down to its essentials. I get the best results when I am focused on the right thing. When I know what I want, I know what to look for. As soon as I know what to look for, I can see it, and I am ready to capture it.

Leaving the house without a concept in mind is like driving without a destination. You may enjoy the journey, but you’ll eventually end up somewhere you might not like. As long as you know what’s your destination, your subject, results will come easier, and faster.

When aiming to photograph light, you will see photographable light. If looking for interesting people to create portraits with, they will suddenly start appearing on the streets. If hand gestures, laughter, sadness, or dogs as subjects are your aspirations, they will start manifesting in front of your lens. Magic, right? We see what we condition our minds to see.

By making conscious decisions about the subjects in advance, we eliminate distractions and keep our focus. As soon as we give our brains a target to focus on, it will dedicate all of its efforts to finding them.

If not, you’ll be jumping from subject to subject. You will miss moments. Changing from portrait to panning setup of your camera takes time. The moment will be gone by the time you’re done.

Deciding on subjects in advance eliminates decision-making in the field. Fewer decisions you make, more time to search for that decisive moment.

Photo by Peter Grof, 2021.

Everything can be edited. Or, editing is everything.

Your approach, your style, composition, or color. It comes down to when you decide to do which.

In street photography, we are challenged with the question: To edit or not?

Some say: “True street photographers do not edit.” Your subscription to this notion isn’t important. Editing doesn’t apply to post-processing exclusively. It starts much sooner, in our mindsets.

Minimal simplistic compositions, using available light, geometry, and silhouettes are my “tools” of the trade. I combine them to edit my frame. For others, these tools will be different. It is about the way they’re used: with intention.

“Editing is everything. Cut, until you can cut no more.” Esther Freud

My vision and my “tools” lead to my post-processing workflow as well. I use Lightroom to import, catalog, edit, and publish my images. Should my vision require, I crop where needed. With my final image in mind, I cut out necessary distractions. I look at my complimentary colors and edit accordingly. I like to have no more than two or three main colors in my image. Even those are tuned down. Along with publishing to social media, everything is achieved within several minutes directly in Lightroom.

If you know what your image should look like, then post-processing (editing) comes easy. If on the other hand, your vision wasn’t clear, to begin with, then you’ll probably spend more time editing.

Thanks for reading. You can find all my writing here. Let’s connect here.



Peter Gróf

Finding creative ways to be. Photographer, Writer.