- Decisive: being able to make a decision.
- Moment: Time, momentum, brief period of time.
What is your duty as a street photographer?
In street photography, you see interesting scenes and moments. It is your duty as a street photographer to be aggressive and to capture that moment — quickly, efficiently, and effectively.
Decisive Moment = Interesting moments + your courage
The way I interpret the decisive moment:
When you’re shooting on the streets, if you see an interesting moment, you must not hesitate, have courage, and capture the moment quickly.
What you DON’T want to happen:
Hesitate, fail to click the shutter, and therefore lose the moment.
Take more risks in your real life
Applied to life, we are all given good opportunities. But it is for us to have the courage, guts, and to take the risk — to try to capture that moment.
Once you miss the moment, it is gone forever.
There isn’t just one moment
There are many moments which are presented to you.
Therefore, rather than getting upset for missing a good moment, you have to learn to be MORE DECISIVE the next time.
What I mean is this:
The next time you shoot street photography, you need to be quicker, to be able to make a decision of clicking the shutter with less hesitation.
How to capture more decisive moments
Therefore, to capture more “decisive moments” is,
- Identify more interesting moments
- Hesitate less before hitting the shutter
- Study lots of great photography (masters of photography), to understand what makes an interesting photo moment. Or, just follow your gut — if you think the moment is interesting, it is interesting.
- Build your confidence and courage in street photography, and be less afraid of negative consequences.
1. What makes an interesting moment?
What’s interesting to you isn’t interesting to me, and vice versa. Sometimes they overlap.
My suggestion: Follow your gut, and your heart.
If you see any scene or moment that strikes your fancy, or interests you — don’t ignore it.
2. How to be more confident in street photography
Lots of practice — the more you shoot street photography, the less nervous you will be.
Also, think less. Whenever I think too much when shooting street photography, I hesitate more.
Think less -> Hesitate less -> Shoot more
Whenever you see an interesting moment, don’t think — JUST SHOOT IT.
To build more confidence in your street photography, join an ERIC KIM CONQUER YOUR FEARS WORKSHOP.
Choosing your favorite moments
The art of editing is the art of selecting your favorite images.
Generally, if you take 20 photos of the scene, my suggestion:
Choose your one favorite photo of the scene.
How do you know which moment is your favorite?
- Follow your gut — does the photo hit you in the stomach? Does the photo spark joy in your heart? Is it a personally meaningful moment?
- Do you see interesting hand gestures, bodily movement, or eye contact?
- Is the composition clean and dynamic?
For more information, read my book: “Street photography contact sheets volume II”.
Keep your chin up
Street photography is hard, fleeting and scary. Trust me, street photography is the most difficult genre of photography.
You must be quick, aggressive, and have confidence in yourself. You need to quickly digest images and scenes, and you must know how to position your body to shoot the scene.
Street photography is fucking hard — don’t forget that.
That means, because street photography is so difficult, don’t be so hard on yourself. Rather, keep your chin up, and never give up.
If you miss a good moment, know:
There are a million other moments I can capture, and next time, I will be more decisive, and hesitate less.
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