What is Street Photography?

The headline should actually read, “What is street photography for me?”. Because as different as street photography is, the meaning for every photographer is just as different.

In a nutshell, street photography is art in public space. Street photography can be done anywhere, anytime. But there are a few things to keep in mind.

In most cases, people play an important role in street photography. Hardliners also believe that “real” street photography must include people. But I can’t share this opinion, because the genre works without the presence of human life.

Street photography is photography in the public space and should be as open as possible. This means that people are usually not asked whether they are allowed to be photographed. That is not infrequently a problem, at least in Germany. In my opinion, we are always in a certain gray area here legally.

There is no blanket ban on unsolicited photography of people on the streets and I am not yet aware of any case in which a photographer was successfully sued for this. Nevertheless, you should make sure that you do not photograph people in embarrassing or awkward situations. You should always act with the necessary respect and ask yourself every time you take a picture whether you would be happy with someone else taking a picture of you like this.

If you are „caught“ taking a picture of someone and the person asks you to delete the picture, you should comply with the request and delete the photo. A discussion usually goes nowhere and it saves you a lot of trouble.

For me, street photography is always a nice change from everyday life. On the street, I clear my head and don’t think about other things, such as work. My focus is entirely on the streets and what happens there.

With that in mind, go out there and shoot.

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