I am starting to write this post and thinking.. Why do I take street pictures, what do I love about this particular art form? It lead me think about all the different experiences, stories and events that I had while shooting street photography. Best part is, I guess, that I have the pictures to remind me of them. Here are 5 reasons I fell in love with street photography. Although sometimes, it is a love-hate relationship.
1. Its photography
To me, street and documentary photography is one of the most fundamental genres of photography of such. Street photography has been here since the invention of camera and the very first picture taken. Documenting people, cultures, events on the streets in different parts of the world has been around for almost 200 years now. Therefore I believe that being out on the streets, documenting what is there at given time and space, connects me to the art of photography and its history as such.
2. Never-ending challenge
For me, every street photoshoot starts with the biggest challenge. What do I shoot today? As you will learn below, or you already know, street photography can be approached through so many angles. Each one of them represents a challenge to me. Moreover, aware of my photographic skills, I am also challenged by fear. I am also challenged by the diversity, by constant changes and by human interaction. Most importantly, I am challenged by myself, as I am very seldom happy with my work. All these challenges make me come back for more, they keep me returning to streets and shoot more pictures.
3. The only constant in street photography is that everything changes
Such as time, conditions on the streets never stop. Light, people, traffic, weather and everything else on the street constantly changes. No day in street photography is the same, therefore no shot is the same. This is one of the greatest aspects of this genre, the moments we capture will never repeat, they will never be the same.
Not only that everything around us changes, we change. We understand our technology better. We try new things on the streets. We do different angles, we try new subjects. We learn, we develop, we educate, we challenge ourselves, hence, we are the change ourselves.
While it may be overwhelming that everything is constantly changing and this brings us tremendous amount of challenges, it is because of this, the street photography is so diverse. We can be shooting portraits one day and long exposures next and still call it street photography. We can be shooting candid pictures of strangers or we can approach someone and ask for a picture. We can be shooting wide, long or 50mm. We can be shooting color or black and white. We can exclude and we can include. We can decide. We can…do everything and anything we want. Isn’t that fantastic?
5. Human interaction
To me, this is more of a love-hate relationship. Being more on the introverted side, I find it harder to approach strangers. I tend to lean towards candid shots where people do not notice me taking pictures. I tend to compose first, wait for the subject to walk into the frame and then shoot. I also shoot longer and from further away. However, and this is a big HOWEVER, whenever I fostered up the courage to approach someone, it always ended very well. We always talked a little, I found out something interesting about the person and walked away with a picture. Not once had someone told me I could not take their picture. Not once!
Others might find challenges, diversity, constant change and human interactions that drive them to create elsewhere. I find them outside, in the city, doing street photography. That’s why I love it.
What are your reasons to fall in love with street photography?