Why Shoot Street Photography?

SF, 2015 #ricohgr
SF, 2015 #ricohgr

Dear friend,

I’ve written a lot of articles on how to shoot street photography— but I realized I have written very little on why shoot street photography. In this article I will outline some reasons why you should shoot street photography, as well as some personal reasons why I personally shoot street photography.

Before I started to shoot street photography, I was a pretty timid person. I was afraid of strangers. Afraid to talk to them, to interact with them, and to treat them like fellow human beings.

Street photography has built up my confidence in so many different ways. I am no longer anxious when I enter foreign and unfamiliar social situations. Street photography has given me the confidence to speak in front of large crowds. Street photography has helped me learn how to face fear in the eye— and not to fear failure. Street photography has helped me deal with rejection, and to be brave, try new risky ideas, and to have confidence in myself.

Street photography has afforded me the opportunity to find the beauty in the mundane, everyday things in life. Street photography helps me see the beauty of an old couple holding hands, a child playing without restraint, a person enjoying a nice cup of coffee— simple pleasures in life.

Street photography has helped me travel the world, to discover new cultures, and to embrace foreign ideas. Street photography has helped me realize that the world is much more similar than dissimilar— that we all have more in common than different.

Street photography has taught me that you can make meaningful photos regardless of where you live. Street photography has taught me that you can photograph your own (boring) hometown as meaningfully and thoughtfully as another photographer in NYC. Street photography has taught me that it is never the fault of the place where we live— but how hard we work as photographers.

Street photography has taught me that taking risks and working hard pays off. Street photography has taught me that the more time I spend in the real world, the more I will inject my life with serendipity, excitement, and joy.

Street photography has got my ass out of my apartment, and to experience life first-handedly. Street photography has taught me to not to have preconceived notions of people. Street photography has taught me that even the meanest-looking people can be the nicest people.

Street photography has taught me that I have no limits. Street photography has pushed me to create more graphic images— to combine the puzzle pieces of reality to create beautiful tapestries of society.

Street photography is sharing my soul with strangers. Street photography is saying hello to a barista or a waiter— and treating them like a fellow human being.

Street photography is not caring about your equipment, and about relishing in having the cheapest and most affordable equipment.

Street photography isn’t elitist— street photography can be shot by anybody. Street photography is the most democratic form of photography out there.

Street photography doesn’t care whether you are a “good” photographer or not— street photography only cares whether you shoot with all your heart and soul.

Street photography gives you the opportunity to make yourself naked in front of others. The more you open up your heart with others, the more others will open up their heart to you.

Street photography is so simple to do, yet so complex at the same time. Street photography has been practiced since the beginning of photography, and will continue as long as humanity exists on earth.

To me, street photography is the most pure form of photography. There are no obstacles which hold you back— only your own creativity and how you see and perceive the world.

Remember, you don’t always need to shoot “street photography.” At the end of the day, photography is photography.

But really— street photography, the art of capturing beauty in society in public places— is something that makes my heart sing.

Street photography keeps me hungry and curious about the world— just like a newborn child.

May I never get jaded by reality— street photography, help keep my eyes pure, fresh, and hungry.

Sunday, Feb 14, 2016 / 10:33am @ Philz coffee in Berkeley

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