Macau is a fascinating destination for street photographers. With its unique blend of Portuguese and Chinese cultures, it offers a wealth of photographic opportunities. From historic landmarks to bustling markets, Macau’s streets are full of character and charm. In this article, we’ll explore the best spots for street photography in Macau.

My goal is to travel the world and document the everyday scenes on the streets. I was able to capture the beauty of the busy everyday life in the streets of Macau, and here are some of my favorite shots from my ‘Street Photography in Macau’ series.

Macau has been called “the Las Vegas of Asia” for its vibrant nightlife and entertainment options. The former Portuguese colony is now a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. It was under Japanese rule until 1999 when it became part of China. Today, Macau is known for its casinos, shopping malls, and world-class restaurants.

Here are some other inspiring street photography in Macau posts in case you’re interested:


STREET PHOTOGRAPHY IN MACAU: Two people crossing the pedestrian lane in front of the Grand Lisboa during a rainy day in Macau.
Street Photography in Macau
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY IN MACAU: A woman with a white and blue umbrella walks in front of an azulejo mural while raining.

Tips for Street Photography in Macau

Learn About Macau’s History.

Macau has been inhabited since prehistoric times. It was first settled by Chinese traders who came here during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). In 1118, the Portuguese arrived and established a trading post. They called the area “Porto de Chaves” after the governor of Portugal at the time. In 1557, the Portuguese were expelled from Macau by the Ming dynasty. After the fall of the Ming dynasty, the Qing dynasty took control of Macau. During the 19th century, Macau became an international port with trade routes extending as far as Europe and Africa.

Therefore, Macau does not only offer scenes that reflect its Chinese heritage, but also lots of Portuguese heritage. Whenever I post my shots from street photography in Macau on social media, a lot of my friends actually comment that it looks like Portugal or any European city.

Shoot at the Right Time of Day.

If you want to capture the best photos in Macau, shoot during the right time of day. In Macau, the best times to take pictures are between 11am and 2pm. This is because there are fewer people walking around and more tourists visiting attractions. However, I will always advocate waking up early in the morning to do street photography in Macau. It’s because that is the time where not a lot of people are walking outside, and you will see the authentic morning activities of the locals, from having coffee in their balconies to taking kids to school to delivering goods to the market.

Be Patient.

You will need patience when shooting street photography, especially in Macau. When I visited Macau, I was surprised that there was a strong typhoon that was not part of my research on the weather forecast. I spent a lot of my time inside my hotel waiting for the rain to stop. There are no shortcuts here. You must learn how to wait for the perfect moment before taking a photo.

However, I can say that the post-rain street photography shots can also give you the best work, just like the works of Saul Leiter.

Capture People Doing Their Thing.

If you want to capture people doing their thing, then you should focus on capturing them at work. This means finding out what they do and where they go. It also means getting close enough to see details such as facial expressions and body language.

Look for Interesting Details.

You can find interesting details by looking closely at things. For example, when photographing people, look for details like facial expressions, clothing, hairstyles, and accessories. Macau has a diversity of people that you can see on a daily basis — from expats, locals, and tourists. These small details will help you tell stories about people and give your photos more personality.

Also, here are some interesting videos about street photography in Macau:

Check out my other street photography collections from other cities of the world!

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