Street Photography is more than a simple Photography genre. It is more than just going out & taking pictures of the Street. To me, Street Photography is a philosophy. A Philosophy that not only helps me to become a better Photographer but also to explore the world in a different way. Street Photography is good for you in many ways. Here I share the positive effects of Street Photography.
Developing Photography skills
Street Photography is seen as one of the hardest genres that you could pursue. Creating candid images that fascinate the viewer is not easy. Even when you know what to go for, the situation has to be perfect – without your influence.
Staged Photographers can try many different setups to see what works for them. They are able to take a picture, notice what they have to change and try it again. Trial and error is not a technique that works very well in Street Photography. Accumulating enough errors and new tries would take more than a lifetime.
Instead, you have to carefully analyze your collection of images and see why the images are good or not. You are learning photography from the ground up and are able to tell how a good photograph is structured.
Besides the “theoretical” aspects of knowing the differences between bad, mediocre or outstanding images, you also become a better Photographer, independently of your genre.
Street Photography is good for you because it teaches you many traits a good Photographer should have.
You notice a good opportunity for a Photo a lot quicker and much more often. As a wedding photographer, this can help you to get those emotional images everyone expects of you.
Secondly, you are also quicker in photographing the actual scene. Where a portrait photographer can usually take a lot of time – when you are doing Street Photography, time is a rarity. You have to compose an image in a matter of (milli)-seconds and get the shot.
From a Photographer’s point of view, Street Photography can help you no matter the genre, you are actually in.
Street Photography is good for you … if you are seeking to become a better Photographer and understand the form of a good photograph.
Higher Frustration Tolerance
As hard as Street Photography is, it can also be frustrating a lot of the times. Being one of the hardest genres comes with the downside of receiving fewer rewards for all the effort you put into it.
On the other hand, once you get your magical shot, the feeling of accomplishment is a lot higher than any other way of photographing could give me.
This characteristic can be extended beyond photography.
Our world today is based on a lot of small rewards and we often feel motivated for an activity if it holds some sort of instant gratification. In the past, photographers had to develop their film and wait to see the results. Nowadays we are able to see instant results on the digital display.
Patience and a high frustration tolerance are great traits, not only in photography but in life in general. Whether it is in your study, at work or other goals that you have set yourself. Being able to cope with negative feedback will allow you to reach your goals more easily.
Don’t be too stressed out when good results don’t arrive instantly. Trust in your ability to reach your goals and work steadily towards them.
Street Photography is good for you … to become humble and achieve long-term goals rather than short-term gratification
Overcoming Social Boundaries
Society has taught us many limits. From birth we are told, to be afraid of strangers and that the world is a dangerous place where bad things happen left and right.
As a kid, this negative view might have been helpful, but when we grow up still in these beliefs, we grow up in fear.
Fear is not always a bad emotion. It helped us to survive when we roamed the wild as Neanderthals and be alerted to dangerous animals.
Now that we live in rather stable societies, such protection isn’t needed. This kind of irrational fear only holds us back and by doing Street Photography we get a different image. Not everybody is dangerous or evil.
Apply some common sense and you will be able to get close to people and wander through the streets with confidence, doing your thing that others would think is impossible to do.
Street Photography is good for you … to break free from social chains and gain un-biased insights
Experience Travels like a local
Street Photography and traveling synergize really well. Travel Photography in my point of view is very similar in that you portrait the life of a country or the location you are visiting.
Most travel photography lacks the authenticity and “life” in their images. They are often photographs of the spots that every tourist has on their to-do list. Of course, there are different qualities in pictures of these places, but to display the people and the life in a real authentic way, Street Photography is your way to go.
With the help of Street Photography, you are able to wander the streets and get candid images. You know how to shoot openly, but also be discreet with a small camera in your hand. You are able to get close to people, without disturbing them in their everyday life.
Instead of getting all the fake and stage smiles of locals that pose in front of your camera, you are able to absorb the real atmosphere with all of its senses.
Street Photography is ideal for addressing multiple senses and letting the viewer get into the picture, getting carried away to a far far place for a moment.
Street Photography is good for you … to experience a different culture from the inside
Meeting new People
The Street Photography Community is very welcoming for newcomers. Unlike other genres, Street Photography is rather small and not a mass phenomenon. Especially when you are interested in learning “advanced” methods like using a flash, or are willing to learn other techniques, most Street Photographers will be open to give you tips or take you on a photography walk.
If you are in Berlin – here is your address “Berlin1020“
So far, the friends I made through Street Photography are all over the world in different places, but I feel we share a certain mindset. That we try to absorb the life and display it to others. Always are interested in meeting new people, discover new areas or explore the world.
This mindset bonds us Street Photographers. In whichever city you are, Street Photography gives you the opportunity to meet locals and have a common interest.
Street Photographers also know their city from the inside out, can give you tips about “hidden” places that you should check out.
Through the Internet, it is easy to connect to Street Photographers, either through Facebook, Instagram or other websites.
When you are a passionate Street Photographer, you will be welcomed and feel at home all over the world. It really is a small passionate, friendly community and makes traveling much more enjoyable.
On the other side, I also had the pleasure to meet Street Photographers from all over the world in my hometown Berlin. Netherlands, England or people that just travel the world.
Street Photography is good for you … to become a part of the global community and make the world your new home
Meeting other Street Photographers is only one specific part of benefiting from Street Photography. In general, Street Photography opens a lot of other opportunities, that you wouldn’t have without your camera.
For example, could you be given backstage access to different events if you ask the organizer, or if you are interested in other areas, Street Photography can help you built a portfolio to establish trust and show that there is a mutual benefit in giving you extended access.
Street Photography allows you to pursue your hobbies from new perspectives. You are able to be a rockstar one day and photograph a crowd from the stage next to your favorite artist, or you can be in the locker room of your sports team.
Although these topics might be more fitting for Documentary Photographers, Street Photography can open you the door to your first projects of these kinds.
Street Photography shows that you are able to work under pressure and take candid images. Therefore I feel that through Street Photography I can become whoever I want, at least for the time being I am working on that project.
Street Photography is good for you … to try something new every day & follow various interests
Before I pursued Street Photography, I tried to express myself through music and other means. For me, Photography is a great way to show emotions.
In Street Photography, I believe that your personality and emotional state is visible in your photographs. Whether you are angry or joyful your pictures will vary. Not always consciously but the pictures you are seeking for will be different.
Going out to shoot is a great way to deal with difficult phases in your life. Street Photography can be like meditation for me. On the street, there is only me, the camera and the world that I try to capture on the camera sensor.
Presenting your images in an exhibition can be a real relief from negative thoughts that you had while shooting the photographs.
Street Photography is good for you… when you want to keep your sanity besides your 9 to 5 job or feel stressed out.
Street Photography is not any photography genre for me. There aren’t just some people in my pictures that I want to present to the rest of the world.
For me, it is a lifestyle – a philosophy.
I am curious, an explorer always interested in learning something new and gather new experiences every day.
Street Photography gives me the power to pursue newfound passions, discover the world around me and structure it in a form that it makes sense to me.
Street Photography is good for you … to enable your curiosity & share your discoveries with the world.
It is more than a genre – It is a way of life.