Here are some practical applications for street photography (in real life):
First of all, I think street photography is useless if you’re only seeking to make photos to get likes on social media. Rather, we should use street photography as a medium to become better human beings. To build our confidence, fight our inner-demons, to zen out, to meditate, and to apply self-therapy to our lives.
Here are some ideas on practical applications of street photography in real life:
1. Overcome anxiety
I know many photographers who suffer social anxiety. I have a friend who got PTSD (post trauma) after being in the war. Therefore, he used street photography to ‘re-socialize’ himself in society — to feel comfortable around human beings again.
I feel that street photography is the best tool to do this — by starting off shooting ‘street portraits.’ To start off asking permission for strangers to make their portrait. The simple assignment to do: “5 yes, 5 no” assignment. The idea is you approach a bunch of strangers to ‘make their portrait’, and you have to keep asking until you get 5 people to say yes, and 5 people to say no.
2. Mental wellness
To me, street photography was a form of self-therapy. To escape the monotony of my 9-5 office job. There was nothing better to clear my mind than a 15 minute walk around the street of my office— when I had 200 emails waiting to be answered.
I think a lot of people have mental wellness issues because we are trapped in fluorescent cages all day— instead of walking around in the ‘real world’ like humans.
Street photography gives us an excuse to walk around, and making images makes it a little less boring. It makes it fun.
Street photography encourages us to be more athletic. Like a good kung-fu artist (thanks @OGGSIE) — you build your intuition, reflections, and reaction skills.
So shoot street photography to walk more, to empty your mind of pointless bullshit of everyday life, and to find more beauty in the ordinary and mundane.
3. Overcoming your fears
I teach street photography workshops to help people conquer their fears not only in street photography, but life. I truly believe that street photography has given me the confidence to start my own businesses, to overcome my anxiety with strangers, and to learn how to take more risks in street photography and risks in life.
Life is about risk-taking, as my buddy Nassim Taleb teaches me. The more risks we take in life, the more chances we have to become the best versions of ourselves. The more we live up to our potential.
Go out and help street photography make you a better person.
Learn more with STREET NOTES x Street Photography 101