What is street photography?
For those of you who don't know what street photography is, you are not alone as it can be pretty difficult to pin down exactly what it is, street photography means different things to different photographers. Most people agree though that photos taken on the street count and the definition of street is quite loose. For me street photography is more about taking candid or chance photos of events and moments that are not staged or forced.
My thoughts on street photography
I shoot street photography to relax I love not knowing what subjects I will find when I go out to shoot or what will grab my attention and capture my interest. I know that I am never bored when I'm walking in a busy area and have a camera in my hand. I find that the spontaneity and randomness excites and focuses me to take photos that I find interesting.
I hope that if I am curious about what is happening in a scene or if I want to know more about a person then the chances are that the viewer will also wonder about the same things and appreciate what interested me to take the photo. Sometimes I am drawn to the action that is happening in that moment or to the interactions of those around me. I really enjoy showcasing the best of people so I like to photograph poignant moments and will tend to look out for them.
I think Street photography is a valuable art form, it acts as a social documentary through the eyes of the photographer. I am not claiming to be a great photojournalist or street photographer however, my photos together with those of many others help to shape the way in which future generations will see us. We are very lucky in this day and age as we have more ways to document our lives than ever through the aid of social media and smart phones.
The shot below was taken on the streets in Paris it was of a Chinese bride who was having some bridal shots taken by a team of photographers. This was a street portrait in that she was aware and was happy for me to take the photograph.
I use street photography as a way to hone my photographic skills, if you can capture moments on the street when people are not always aware that you are taking photos then you will have more success in documenting those magic moments at a wedding. I may not be the best street photographer but I certainly notice the benefits of shooting street in helping me with my documentary style of wedding photography. It gives me practice in thinking fast and getting the "decisive moment".
Connecting with people
Through my street photography I feel that it is important not to force or stage the image. I feel that the candidness of the shot really shows through to the final image and can be appreciated by the viewer. I like the fact that the images I have taken are chance and may never be seen in the same way again. There is an authenticity to street photography that resonates with the viewer and they are able to share in the same moment that drew me to taking the image in the first place. I think this is what connects the view to the photographer as they are able to see through their eyes for that moment in time.
Why I shoot street
I shoot street for myself and really enjoy the fact that I am able to document and share my experiences and the things that interest me through the medium of photography. Street photography allows me to create a story in a single image and it can elevate the mundane and ordinary into interesting, poignant, emotive and powerful images. These moments are happening all around us and are available to those who are looking for them.
For those of you who have a camera or camera phone I urge you to go out and take some street photos they do not have to be award winning to tell a good story, even if the only person who enjoys them is you. In my next blog I will be giving you my tips for taking street photography and sharing with you my experience of using different cameras and lens on the street and the pros and cons with these.
Please feel free to comment on this blog and share your experiences of street photography together with any photos in the comments section below.