Street photography isn’t just a hot way for younger, less experienced photographers to learn the ropes and develop a personal style. It’s also something that comes with its share of pleasant surprises thanks to the way it really gets you out there experiencing the world around you.
In other words, street photography may be the best photography subcategory you’re not paying attention to yet. It doesn’t just make you a better photographer. It makes you a better person as well. Here we’ll take a closer look at what street photography brings to the table for photographers of all experience levels.
- You’ll build some serious confidence.
When you make the decision to take up street photography, you’re also making the decision to get up close and personal with a variety of different people in your community. It often finds you walking right up to total strangers, striking up a conversation, and asking if you can take their picture. It also requires you to connect with that stranger well enough to capture the very best of them.
If you’re shy or have trouble talking to people, that certainly won’t be the case for long. After a while, you’ll simply develop a knack for getting out there and connecting in just the right way and your confidence will soar as a result.
- You’ll develop amazing instincts.
All types of photography can really help you when it comes to developing your artist’s instincts, but street photography is better than average at it. You have to be aware of your surroundings at all times, because you honestly never know when the next great opportunity will present itself.
Street photographers need to be able to spring into position at a moment’s notice. They need to know how to get their camera ready to shoot in a nanosecond. Most importantly of all, they need the ability to absolutely nail those killer compositions that can literally make a shot, even under conditions that are less than ideal.
- You’ll meet some truly incredible people.
Logically, we all realize that every person comes attached to a unique set of interests, experiences, and circumstances. However, nothing really hammers that point home like street photography. You’ll probably eventually find yourself talking to and photographing everyone from civil servants, to random bus passengers, to little kids. You’ll hear some amazing stories and experience some priceless moments for sure.
Sooner or later, you’ll also start rubbing elbows with other street photographers and they’re truly just as interesting as anyone you might photograph. You’ll meet fellow photographers that can give you valuable advice or with whom you’ll start lasting friendships. Best of all, these people will help keep your passion for photography (and living in general) alive.
- You’ll discover new ways to help people.
Some people grew up with access to everything they ever wanted or needed in life. Others weren’t anywhere near as lucky. Whichever one you happen to be, you can’t deny the fact that helping others just feels good. If you’re the sort that’s always looking for new ways to be of use to your community or to help other people, then street photography is for you.
You’ll constantly be made aware of individuals and groups that could really use your help in a number of ways. You’ll enjoy chances to volunteer, to make a difference, and to have an impact on the world around you. You’ll be presented with opportunities to teach others, as well as to be taught by them. If you take advantage of those opportunities, your life will change for the better guaranteed.
- You’ll get to travel to places you’d probably never otherwise get to go.
If you’re lucky enough to make even a part-time career out of your interest in street photography, you’ll finally have those opportunities to travel that you’re always saying you want. You could find yourself traveling to every corner of your own country – everywhere from the biggest cities to the smallest little hamlets. You might even get to travel to other countries all around the globe.
The act of traveling and connecting with a literal world full of people will open your eyes and expand your horizons even further. You’ll get up close and personal with lots of other cultures. Best of all, you’ll wind up with some amazing perspective as far as how limited your own little world was before.
- The way you see the world and live your life will change for the better.
When you’re not a street photographer, you spend most of your time away from home focused on whatever it is you have going on next. You’re trying to get to work on time or rushing to make it to the subway station so you don’t miss the train home. When you’re not scrambling to get somewhere else, you’re probably glued to your phone or otherwise just trying to pass the minutes until it’s time for the next thing on the agenda.
Once street photography gets a hold of you, you’ll never see the world the same way again. You’ll start to see the beauty in the mundane and the everyday – everything from an interesting shadow cast on a wall, to an anonymous man reading the newspaper on the train, to a stray dog taking a drink out of a puddle. You’ll stop rushing and tuning out the world because you’ll now be aware of what you used to miss.
- You’ll never run out of new challenges to tackle.
The minute a given pursuit becomes commonplace and easy, it also ceases to be interesting. That quite simply never happens with street photography. There’s always something new to become curious about and new ways to challenge yourself. The world is a really interesting place and nothing puts you right out there in the thick of it quite like street photography.
That said, a street photographer almost never finds himself stuck in a rut. He’s never bored. He’s never tired of living life. That’s because he’s constantly running into things that remind him to see it the way it is – as a limitless adventure that always has something to offer.