10 Reasons Why I Love Street Photography

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Editor’s Note: This is a syndicated blog post from photographer Alex Coghe. All text and images are used with permission and has been subject to minor editing.

As a commercial photographer I specialize in photojournalism, portraits, erotica and fashion, but I am and will remain a street photographer. Street photography is my essence and the way I look at the world. Because street photography gave me the opportunity to see in a whole new way that surrounds me and every moment I’m watching with my street photographer eye.

“That ongoing moment, you can feel it, a pure way of looking at the world…when you are in the street with your camera the sensation is vibrant energy, adrenaline running inside your veins, you can feel all the power, that intense moment when you frame through the viewfinder and you press the shutter. Now! That moment! Yeah! I have the picture!” – Street Photography Pill #93 from Nasty, my blog on tumblr. You can check out all my street photography pill by clicking here.

It is exactly this, an epic ride like the arrival of an orgasm, and if you can not understand it or you think the comparison is exaggerated, you probably are not a street photographer. Follow me on this post where I try to explain my 10 reasons why I love Street Photography.

1- Street Photography is an attitude, a different way to approach photography

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I think one of the main reasons I love street photography is because to be a street photographer you must live as a street photographer. One of the first things you learn when you start with this genre is the different approach you need to acquire in respect to the orthodox and academic photography. A different approach that will change forever your ideas about photography and art in general.

2- Street photography is a constant learning experience, no matter how much you are experienced

You will never stop learning with this genre. There are other kinds of photography or activities where you can settle into a comfort zone but not with street photography because also the routine is not a real routine.

3- Street photography always surprises you

We are talking about taking “unsettled” pictures and you are making photographs with subjects who aren’t posing for you. Street photography is always an adventure in which we do not know the direction it will take us. This is part of its charm, its ability to amaze me like when I was a child. That makes me feel extraordinarily alive and joyful for what the street will give me today and tomorrow.

4- Street photography is real documentary

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As I have written in one of my street photography pills, “Street Photography is the biggest contribution for visual arts to history of man to be the most genuine document of daily life” and I am sure the work street photographers around the world are doing will receive due recognition in the future. We are documenting the society of our time, through images and stories of the everyday. Currently I find most the truthful and sincere gaze on the world of a street photographer than many photojournalists.

5-  Street Photography is my motor, with regenerating power for creativity

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I use street photography as fuel for my creativity. I love to say street photography is a great prevention system against Alzheimer’s or senile diseases. Of course, there is no scientific credibility for this consideration but my buddy Michael Ernest Sweet in the past dedicated a post about photographers who have long life expectancy. For sure when I am on the street my brain is constantly generating new ideas.

6- Thanks to street photography, I am the photographer I am

I owe everything to street photography. Today I am a professional photographer, which allows me to support my family. Street photography is more a method than a genre because I am applying the street photography approach to my commercial work. Usually my clients contact me to have a different work, and by different they mean often a candid shot, by giving examples of the work done in the street. Also with models I use the techniques that I acquired with street photography.

7- Street photography allowed me to have amazing experiences, introduced me to wonderful people who are today my friends, and generated important work opportunities

Thanks to street photography, I met a lot of people. Everyday I am contacted by someone and I am in contact with a lot of guys around the world. Street photography allowed me to go to Los Angeles, California, which was a dream of a lifetime for me. Thanks to street photography I have also given courses at universities. I am giving street photography workshops in three languages, and my students come to Mexico to take a workshop with me. So far I have had students from Italy, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Belgium, India, US, Australia, Japan, Denmark, UK…and most of them are still among my contacts. The fact I am known a street photographer allowed me to get in touch with many business brands and obtain work on assignment.

8- Street photography allowed me to create a a respected blog that is visited at least once by readers all over the world

My blog is a wonderful reality, already a universe of projects, a laboratory of ideas and proposals for the worldwide street photography community. Many important photography brands around the world believe in me and they sponsor contests and other projects and this is very cool to give something more to my followers and readers. Awareness becomes pride if we consider that English is just my third language and is not perfect. I am perfectly aware I need to improve my English but I am giving workshops also in this language and my posts are appreciated from people around the world, allowing this blog to be really well positioned on the internet with important statistical numbers of daily views.

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9- Street photography is overall a social experience

One of the things I enjoy most about the genre is that I am on the street, so I meet and talk with a lot of people. I mean…most of the time I am not asking permission to take a picture, but it is pretty clear what I am doing. I am not hiding that I am taking pictures so sometimes I can talk with someone, which is a mindset that means I’m clearly open towards others. This is something that happens much less frequently if I don’t have with me a camera. So, I think street photography is able to give another kind experience inside an experience. The socializing experience is to be recommended to people who generally are very timid. I have seen outstanding results with some of my students.

10- Street Photography is now my sport, able to relax and also give me some adrenaline rush

Street photography is currently the activity that makes me consume sneakers, more so than tennis and basketball. I walk thousands of miles thanks to street photography. I walk fast, and I’m always ready to react in case a vision of a moment to document with my camera strikes me. This relaxes me and usually I come home happy. I think street photography is a way to practice meditation, and I feel it is Zen in many aspects. The fact I am shooting strangers and that you can never be sure of the reaction of the subjects is part of the appeal of this challenge.

Conclusion

If you are a street photographer reading this post you will have found yourself in a lot of things said here. Maybe for you, this is just a list of thoughts you already know. If you are not into street photography I really hope this post can help you to grab a camera and go out to take pictures. Anyway my invitation is: have fun, enjoy the experience, take photos for yourself. Now if you have your reasons why you love street photography I would invite to comment this post. Thanks for being here. Good Light!!!