Street Photography: WHY?

Street Photography: WHY?

Street Photography is simply taking photos in public spaces. While putting together a presentation about street photography for an upcoming library talk, it got me thinking.  Why do it? After all, walking the streets taking photos amongst a suspicious public is scary stuff.

So, I came up with what I think is nine reasons why street photography is well worth a shot.

Builds confidence

My first nervous steps into the world of street photography were scary to say the least. But the more I did, the braver I got, and my growing confidence flowed into other aspects of my life.

Connection with strangers

The very nature of street photography means that meeting strangers is a certainty. And that is a good thing, especially if the photo leads to a conversation.

Increases observational skills

When I’m walking the streets looking for subjects, I am hyper observant. I start noticing things I would miss in everyday life.

Sharpens photography skills

Always expect the unexpected when roaming the streets taking photos. With so much going on, your technical and visual photography skills improve dramatically.

Captures the decisive moment

The pioneer street photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson, coined the phrase “The Decisive Moment”. It’s about capturing that never to be repeated moment when the subject is frozen in time. Street photography is full of such moments.

Expands creativity

I find roaming the streets looking for possible subjects an exceptionally creative process. The streets are full of unlimited photographic potential.

Historic record

Since photography began in the mid 1800s, photographers have provided a historic record of street life in images. It is vital this fine photographic tradition continues to record life for future generations.


Before it’s too late

Much of what we take for granted today may not be around tomorrow. Just look at what’s happening to the humble milk bar or corner shop. I like to go out and take photos of things that might not be around much longer.

Enhances the travel experience

To capture the essence of any location while travelling, it’s a good idea to include everyday street life as well as stunning natural places.