You’ve seen the photos of some famous street photographers and been impressed with their visual narrative. Or you’ve bought your camera and are close to urban areas – you could do landscapes and travel but those genres are so far away and so infrequent. You really find people in the street interesting, so you’re interested in street photography. But then it gets all difficult. So let’s talk about a few things.
Knowing legal rights
Can taking photos be a criminal offence? Yes – read the document – case precedents and exclusions are cited.
Your Self Interview about your subject
Of all the photography genres, Street insists on the most two way engagement. Landscape is one way. Have you ever had a rock talk back to you? Studio photography and Weddings – you do have to handle the client and the subject but there’s no doubt what your motives are. But in Street Photography – What are your motives? No, it’s not me you have to contend with – it’s the people you take a photo of and more importantly, it’s you, because you are the one who has to rationalise to yourself.
These are not necessarily the questions you will be confronted with, but they could very well be things that people think about you. Be comfortable with your own answers – if you don’t believe your own answers, your photos are likely to show it.
Seeing what others shoot
Street Photography covers a multitude of styles. And although it’s about people, if you spend the time looking at various photographers’ photos, there are posed headshots (Robin Wong), there are full length posed portraits with interviews (HONY), there are environmental people and where they live / work (Yeow Chin Liang), there are general things that catch the eye – (Erwin Vindl, Thomas Leuthard), there are questions about why (Benizi Santamaria), viewpoints of the curious nanny (Vivian Maier), people in suits (Eric Kim) – there are heaps of different styles.
Bruce Gilden Video: What Makes a Good Street Photograph?
Daido Moriyama Video: Near Equal
Garry Winograd Video: Visions and Images 1981