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Street photography, what is it?

Many questions I get are about street photography. The questions often show that many people do not know what it is. Of course, the confusion also arises a bit from the term which makes people think that every photo taken on the street is a street photo. Now you already notice, when I put it this way, that I think it is not so. a photo of an empty street or a building is not yet street photography.

So what is it? In the general definition, there are always people in the photo. In addition, it must be possible to make the photo into at least a small story. Of course, the creation of the story also depends on the imagination of the viewer, but you can steer the story quite well by using subjects around it. For example, you can use shop windows and posters on the street and then photograph how people react to them. You can also look for contrasts between the person and the poster or similarities.

Street photography is not necessarily the same as candid photography. In candid photography you photograph the person without them noticing. In street photography, you can also ask people to pose for you. An example is the photo below. The man is fully aware that he is going to be in the photo, he is looking at me. The surprise on his face is because I said “bell pepper” to him. Notice the sign above his head. This is also how you can provoke situations in the environment.

The surprise on his face

Paprika

See the sign above him

paprika
Paprika

Furthermore, make sure that the situations speak to the imagination. A man just walking is of course not that special, unless the man is already that way by himself. It is different if he is carrying a large suit, which creates the story. Then all sorts of things can be imagined. What is in the suit? Where is he taking it?

Also look at the picture of this article. In it are several elements that can make a story, find them for yourself.

What’s happening?

Shopping?

There are many stories to be made of it

Shopping
Shopping

When you photograph someone you should not be afraid. Most people find it fun or interesting. A few will not like it. In that case, don’t make an issue of it and remove the photo from the camera under his or her watchful eye. I have only had to do that once.

And now? Hit the streets. Show off your stories that you encounter along the way. There are plenty of them.

Although? For inspiration, a few recent examples on film.

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