What is “Street Photography” to Street Photographers?

This blog post was syndicated from Ashley Linford. It and the images here are being used with permission. For more of my work follow me on Twitter @adlstreettog and Instagram @goingeast365

Good evening fellow photographers,

Today I want to write about a topic that I’ve been hearing a lot of lately. Some people may or may not agree with this but as always this is just my opinion and my views on what I will be talking about today.

The last few months I have read a lot about street photography and what people’s perceptions of the thoughts on this genre. I’ve listened to podcasts that discuss the matter and articles that talk about it also and almost always seem to come to the same conclusions, ‘as long as your having fun then it doesn’t matter’ and that “there are no rules in street photography’.

Now I love all the content online available at our disposal because ‘I’ like most others in this genre love street photography and everything about it. There is one thing though that really gets to me and that is the contradictions of what ‘street photography is’.

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So in general the discussion goes along the lines of street photography can be anything that you want it to be whether its close up candid shots, street portraits, busy layered scenes or minimalistic scenes with silhouettes as long as your having fun, and if you love what you do then what does it matter what you are shooting. I agree whole heartedly with all of that but what i do have a problem with is that in the next breath they will talk about how street photography is a massive thing now and on the up with the amount of people posting on social media and any Tom, Dick or Harry can call themselves a street photographer (one of the draws of street photography for me), whilst the amount of good viewing content is actually going down. Again I agree with this 100%, but if these ‘mediocre’ photographs are being taken with good intentions and the photographers are truly enjoying what they are capturing then who cares (this is exactly what they were saying a few minutes prior). In my opinion it doesn’t matter how much bad content is, the cream will always rise to the top.

I hear thing said like ‘random snap shots of non interesting people’ and ‘anybody can take photos of strangers in the street’ but isn’t that what we are all doing regardless of our abilities as street photographers and who’s to say that these so-called random snap shots didn’t strike an interest in those who were taking the photograph, and as mentioned earlier; as long as they are having a fun time doing it then why does anybody need to judge and discuss wrongs or rights.

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I agree with most things that are said but this attitude is something that I don’t. Yes the content of some may not be as great as others but if they love what they are doing like you and I then who really cares. We all do this for the happiness that it brings us and if somebody else happens to like what you do aswell then all the better. First and foremost we go out into the streets to capture what interest us, hopefully having fun in the process and loving every minute that we are out there in this crazy and fascinating world that we live in.

Be happy and keep snapping.

Ashley