Street photography is the art of capturing life, culture, humanity, and emotions through candids
Candid photography – catching people spontaneously, unexpected, in the moment, not posed
The decisive moment: it’s all about the timing and everything coming together
All about Street Photography:
-Don’t be afraid to take multiple photos of what seems to be the same thing– with candid photography every picture comes out a little different – you may capture that one precise moment that falls under Henri Cartier-Bresson’s concept, the decisive moment when everything comes together in the frame at the right time
“When form content, vision and composition merged into a transcendent whole”
-Henri Cartier- Bresson
You will thank yourself later for taking over fifty pictures when you only really love three!
-Imperfection, framing, timing, and human emotion are key
-Capturing everyday life
-Street doesn’t necessarily have to be present, if that’s the case – people, objects, or environment should be focused on in an out of the ordinarily aesthetic form
-When people are absent, an object or environment should be enhancing the visual appeal of the photo giving it that unique aesthetic
-Have fun with it!
As the photographer if you’re shooting people, be aware of their location in the frame, facial expression, gestures, and any movements the person might be making
In a scene without people, be aware of other details such as climate (what’s the weather doing, is wind blowing things around, time of day), environment (how can you use your location to your advantage), visual elements (lines & angles) and of course the possibility of animals wanting to join in on the photoshoot
Laws associated with street photography
Alright you want to take spontaneous pictures… it’s more than likely at least a couple random faces may be in the mix. So, Let the questions begin.
United States: photography is protected under the First Amendment as free speech and artistic expression = street photography is allowed
“Am I allowed to photograph people I don’t know?”
Yes! It’s a huge misconception that individuals need consent from a person when taking their photo in public. Put it this way – how many pictures do you think you are in without even knowing? Consider when you’re on the boardwalk or anywhere that tourists would be aimlessly snapping pictures, it’s bound for you to end up in someone’s shot. I know, WOAH. But as long as privacy rights aren’t being violated it’s fair game
“How far is too far?”
C’mon guys don’t make me go there… ok fine, going to someone’s private property and up to their window discreetly taking pictures without their permission is when street photography becomes stalking.
Other countries street photography approved: Greece, South Africa
Not street photography approved: United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary, and Japan
As a side note, for myself being from NJ- New York and Philly are a couple of my favorite spots to capture my street photography. You don’t see the same type of people walking around in cities than you do in the suburbs, which I find more exciting to capture. Individuals all seem to have a unique aesthetic, it’s like their appearance already tells you who they are.