A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about whether or not I should continue to pursue street photography, and that post ended up being Freshly Pressed. Due to the popularity of the piece, I thought I’d write a round up to include some of your comments and suggestions. This was actually suggested by my new friend Olive… so, thank you for the great idea Olive.
My blogging world was turned upside down, and was forever changed… at least temporarily 🙂 What was initially meant as a rhetorical question, a piece published to the world of my non-existent blogging community, has resulted in hundreds of new followers, thousands of views, and dozens of likes.
But most importantly, that post became a gathering place for hundreds of like-minded people to share their thoughts, apprehensions, and experiences with street photography.
I begin with this amazing poetic thought about street photography, shared by Elmer at malate.wordpress.com:
From Elmer’s comment, I think he knows exactly what street photography is, and what it should be – art that has been created out of nothing, out of candid moments, documenting the things we normally take for granted.
Those of us who choose to practice the art of street photography are documentarians by our very nature. Street photographers share a common curiosity about sociology, about society – how people interact with each other, and how they act on their own. We appreciate fleeting moments, see the minute details that pass most other people by. To make a story out of nothing is an art form, and I learned from many of your comments that the true beauty in street photography is made from candid moments, when an unsuspecting subject becomes the centrepiece of your scene.
I am a big fan of capturing candid moments, as I’ve written before, but I also learned from readers of this blog that taking someone’s picture without their knowledge or consent may also not be ok… on a moral level.
But then there’s a whole different type of street photography, street portraiture. This, I find, is the most difficult of all. On many occasions I have walked past someone who I wanted to stop and ask to take their portrait, but have always shied away from doing. It always angers me after the fact, because the worst that could happen is that they say “no”, and the best that could happen is that you walk away with something beautiful. There are many fantastic examples of this being done, most notably “Humans of New York“, but the key is finding your unique take on the challenge, and perhaps that’s just what’s holding me back at the moment.
After all is said and done, I have a renewed sense of purpose in my street photography. Though I haven’t directly asked to take a stranger’s portrait, I have been lucky enough to have been asked by a complete stranger, and the experience was invigorating. I WILL begin asking people, and I WILL share those images here. But I am also documenting my time and place in history. Never again will these moments you see on my blog happen again. The streets may stay the same year after year, but the people, the cars, and the businesses will continuously change.
I can’t thank you enough for showing me what blogging is actually about… community. The friends I’ve made, and the conversations I’ve had as a result of this blog have been invaluable. I truly appreciate the work that each and every one of you do, and I am honoured that you’ve taken an interest in mine.
Again, I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject, and I would like to know if your opinions of street photography have changed.