Hardcore Street Photography (HCSP) has been around since the golden days of Flickr. Founded in 2005, HCSP is wildly seen as the arena that will make or break a street photographer. Its no-nonsense approach to conversation earns the moderators’ respect, and members see it as a place where they can get an unfiltered and detailed response to their work. It’s due to its brutal honesty that HCSP has been able to keep strong, even as Flickr weakens. With 82 thousand members and an active community, it shows no signs of slowing. Because of that, it remains a credit to an often criticized street photography community.
In photography, we now live in a world of “great shot,” “love it,” and “wow!” Is that really all our street photography is worth? One or two words? Thankfully the team and members of HCSP don’t play by the rules set by current societal standards. Instead, they keep it real and give honest critique to each photographer that posts their work in the group.
HCSP Melts The Snowflake Society
When did we become so soft? I’m not the only one to ask that question. People are asking it pretty much throughout every sub-culture across society. In photography, we now live in a world of “great shot,” “love it,” and “wow!” Is that really all our street photography is worth? One or two words? Thankfully the team and members of HCSP don’t play by the rules set by current societal standards. Instead, they give honest critique to each photographer who posts their work in the group. That does not mean it’s an environment to be nasty. Telling someone their image doesn’t cut it isn’t a bad thing: it actually can be the best thing for them. And where there’s constructive criticism, there’s also plenty of praise. Photographers can expect to receive the credit they deserve for the images they create.
It’s sad that in 2019 straight-up honesty may be viewed as edgy. I don’t think it is. It shows that some people out their still care about the quality and improvement of street photographers.
High Standards of Street Photography
A common issue most people have with other platforms is the quality of the content. In Facebook groups, people can post pretty much anything they want to, and have all the members assure them it’s great. Of course, on Instagram, you’re in charge of your own feed and have full control of the quality of it. Sadly what you often get is a sea of garbage, maybe with one decent shot lost amongst it.
HCSP has, for a long time, taken no shame in the fact that a lot of what gets submitted for approval gets rejected. Its group of moderators, all of whom have been in the scene for years, take pride in ensuring the quality of work accepted in the group remains at a high standard. Sure, not everyone agrees on each image. But for the most part, if you spend time in the group, you’ll struggle to find a rubbish shot.
I’m a big fan of this. One, because it makes it easier to view good street photography, and two, because it lets others work toward a certain standard, improving their street photography in the process.
Something to Celebrate in Two Communities
HCSP is one section of Flickr that’s keeping its members from drowning on an otherwise sinking ship. It’s also one of the few shining stars in a street photography community that is becoming too focused on shallow validation, rather than a proper conversation about the craft. However, for those who do want to be part of something special, find a quality source of inspiration, and want to have a realistic discussion within the street photography community, then HCSP offers all that. Hats off to them.