Once again, I write a blog based on most questions people gave to me recently. This time the question is: Why you do street photography? Why you photograph stranger? What make you think it is interesting? Why people even think to keep doing street photography?
To start answer it, let me post a quote from my previous article Street photography Bring You Happiness (Read here):
As a street photographer we simply keep search for beautiful/unique moments out there to be photographed. We aware more about our surrounding. That is why being a street photographer will make us keep finding positive things about this world.
There are plenty of beautiful or unique things that most of the time unseen by many people out there. They never realise there is a decisive moment created by universe that able to become a piece of art, simply because they never giving enough attention about their surrounding, could be because busy with their smartphone, their paperwork, and talking with their friends.
As a street photographer it is our “duty” to share to the world about this beautiful moments. Our daily activities may look boring outside, but if we look deeper and more carefully, there are many many chances artistic moments are happening right in front us.
More than that, actually there are some additional points that make me keep doing street photography in my daily basis and also the reasons why I keep encourage people (and my friends) to start doing street photography:
The most obvious reason, doing street photography will force us to travel more and more. Could be travel to other countries, cities, or simply go to some (hidden) spots in our own city that we never seen before. In my experience, I even start to appreciate my city in a better way by noticing more good (hidden) spots.
By explore more about our own city or other cities will give us better understanding about that city itself (things like people’s behaviour, culture, unique outfit, or building geometry) , therefore we will be able to see this world from better perspective. There is a chance your boring city is not boring at all after you explore its full potential!
Say hello to stranger
Meet new stranger is so fun when we can share our life story one to each other. Also, it taught me a lot to never judge people by their appearance. The scariest looking person on the street could be the most friendly stranger you met at that day! I’m not saying that we always have to start conversation with stranger (I’m rarely do it as well). However, when I did it, it felt great how two (or more) strangers could connect, build spontaneous relationship, and trust their stories one to each other. Also, extra benefit is perhaps they can point us a great photograph spot in our city that we never know before.
Simple process and requirement
Basically to start street photography we only need a camera (even smartphone camera can do), and that is all! We freely can shoot everyday (Read here), anywhere (Read here) and anytime (both daylight and night time). Even in place that we think boring like our working place area. No need to think about special schedule (like shooting landscape), special concept (like toy photography) or hire a model (in portrait photography). Just grab your camera and start hunting street scene!
Special notes: The more we think that a place is too boring or bad to be photographed (perhaps because we go there everyday) the more we will push our creativity to create a shot. In my own experience, this thing is a great way to create new inspiration as well (inspiration to find a new angle or shooting technique to apply at other places).
Thanks to modern social media like street photography blogs, Instagram, 500px, Facebook, etc. Actually I have found great online community there! We share many many information like street photography technique, philosophy, and great spot to do street photography.
Last time I went to Melbourne, I contacted few person from my Instagram contact to get information about where and how to shoot street in Melbourne. “Where” is about great location to be photographed. “How” is about people’s culture and behaviour in general when they see a person bring camera on the street. Apparently they all nice person and gladly help me 🙂
A little note: My experience shooting street in Melbourne was simply a bliss!
For me it is always interesting to know what other people think about street photography (especially their philosophy), what they learnt from it, and their special personal reason to keep doing street photography everyday. I have managed to gather some responses in my Instagram and I think I get some great answers that I want to share here.
Question: What make you keep doing street photography everyday?
Answered by some street photographers in my Instagram community:
– Discovering myself through this way
– Because in street photography you can do it yourself. No need friends, model, etc.
– There is something extraordinary about the ordinary day to day people.
– Doing street photography is kind of remedy for my soul. It helps me gain more positive energy to face this world.
– Adrenaline, defeat the fear (when shooting close distance) and some sort of meditation.
– In street photography the picture you take will be unique, in the moment.
– It’s kinda like surfing, but instead of perfect wave, we search for the perfect shot. It is an addiction!
– The sense of uncertainty that makes every photowalk has different story to be told.
– The feel of being around the society. To capture facial expression or body gesture. Make me feel human.
– Every scene is a new way to learn something amazing, You can find yourself in each shot!
My personal reason
My personal reason to keep doing street photography, even though this type of photography consume a lot of my time (hunting photos, editing, post process, and of course write this blog) is:
I treat street photography like doing exercise in gym place everyday. We challenge ourself everyday to keep getting better and better. We do not need to care about other people’s achievement (I do not care how much weight other people can lift in gym place). What matter the most is how we become better than yesterday by learn and practise today. it is totally fine to “steal” information and get inspiration from street photographers that we admire, and try to practise it in real world!
Street photography also become my personal way to express my self about how I see this world through my eyes, my mind, and my imagination through art. That is why I love to do street photography and I do not mind at all to do it everyday!
Imagine how fun it is when you can create your personal project (street photography) that you able to gain full control in it. You have 100% freedom to use creativity to express yourself with no one’s judgement can touch it. On top of that, it will keep you “productive” in good way when you have spare time to spent (either at weekend or at working time).
That is all about my thought why I keep doing street photography for the last 2 years everyday! Honestly, at first I only want to create a short post for this article, but it turns out I just can not stop writing about benefit of doing street photography (Well, I need to stop now before become too long though).
Keep shooting everyday,