Promises Every Photographer Should Make to Themselves for 2022

Some folks believe that a new year is a great time to start something brand new. You know, some sort of commitment to yourself. But, the truth is that unless you stay committed to your goals, you’re not going to get them done. And with this new year, every photographer should find ways to create organic growth for themselves. So we’re rounding up four ways photographers can do this. Make the promise to yourself!

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Street Photographers Taking Pictures of Homeless People is Exploitation

Street photographers who photograph homeless people aren’t doing those people any good in today’s world.

I’ve spoken before about photographing and doing street photography with intent. And I think that when street photographers take photos of homeless people that they’re not doing these people any good. Photographing scenes where these homeless people are the primary focus and surrounded by others more financially fortunate is also not such a great thing to do. While many years ago, this could have told stories when put into the pages of credible publications, today’s world doesn’t lend itself well to this type of photographic intent. Indeed, the world has changed and actions speak louder than words. What often ends up happening is that these photographers self publish by adding images to Instagram or other platforms. These images are then passed by in a feed, double tapped, and moved onto another photo or served an ad. The result is that a person viewing the photos doesn’t want to go help a homeless person in the way that politicians and people used to do.

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Street Photographers: Are You Genuinely Enamored with Moments, or Are You Just a Voyeur?

I’ve come across images from street photographers on social media that have genuinely made me question the format.

I think the love affair with street photography and everything about it is fantastic when the photographer has good intent when putting the camera to their eye and capturing a moment. I think anything and everything else isn’t acceptable. The idea of empathy for your subjects should be expanded to what the long term effects of the image may have on a person. To that end one should think about whether hurting someone else’s reputation is worth Reddit Karma, Instagram likes, etc. But unfortunately, even though there are loads of tutorials online about street photography, there isn’t a single tutorial on ethics or how to have empathy for others. For far too long, the community has pretty much mandated common sense.

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On Shooting from the Hip in Street Photography

chris gampat the phoblographer leica m9p review (3 of 15)

In the street photography world, there is a big debate that while seemingly frivolous, is worth talking about for ethical reasons. It involves photographers shooting from the hip: which many have done for years and produced incredible images while doing it. Their case: it helps them to get the images they need with a different perspective and while not disrupting what happens in front of them.

The other photographers need to bring the camera to their eyes to shoot. Their case: it helps them to get a better idea of what they’re shooting and also helps them develop a bit of a rapport with the subject. It also in some ways, makes them look less creepy to the general public.

And then there are some that say to use the viewfinder simply because of some unknown standard of being better than one another.

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Is the Definition of Street Photography Changing?

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography LCA 120 black and white images (3 of 11)

Look through Instagram and other spaces in the web community and you’ll see images like the one above everyday being tagged with #streetphotography. Each generation holds key influencers who go on to define or redefine the culture–and street photography over the years has become an even hotter topic than we all think. Years ago, it would be common for my bosses at B&H Photo to tell me that there was way too much street photography on their blog that I ran, but today, as a cultural platform, no one can get enough of it. But with all this comes what the definition of street photography is.

Street photography in its most colloquial form was about everyday scenes out in public and a documentation of life as it happens. But the major genre defining characteristics were that the images needed to be in public and that people–not things needed to be the primary focus of the scene and have to have a meaningful impact on it.

On social media platforms like Instagram, 500px, Flickr and more, it’s common for people to label other things as street photography.

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