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Why Street Photography?

Dear friend,

A fun question to ponder: why street photography?

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Why I love street photography

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The reason why I love street photography and am passionate about it is because:

  1. Democratic: Anyone and everyone can shoot street photography, regardless of age, background, location, skill, or camera gear/equipment.
  2. Good creative outlet: As humans, we must all create art, or else we will fall into depression or exhaustion/nihilism in life. Street photography (as Henri Cartier-Bresson said) is “instant sketches of everyday life.” Thus as street photographers, we create instant sketches of art and everyday life. Even though we cannot paint or draw, we can easily photograph. And yes, photography is art, and the photographer is an artist.
  3. Walking: Street photography allows us to walk, move, explore, and be more adventurous in life. We all know that walking and movement is essential for our physical and mental health. Many mental and physical disorders happen when we are too sedentary, and don’t move around or walk enough. Street photography gives us an excuse to move more.
  4. Social: As humans, we are all social creatures which THRIVE on social interaction. Street photography gives us the opportunity to talk and interact with strangers, to meet other street photographers and build a new like-minded community of artists, and also allows us to have artwork to share with others. The more social we are, the happier we are. And street photography helps us be more social, thus, will make us happier.
  5. Fun: Street photography is like a game: fun, unpredictable, and challenging —all which are elements of what make a good game. Most of us are bored in everyday life and living. Street photography gives us a better spice, to enjoy the flavor of life!

But what is street photography?

Define street photography for yourself. Follow your own voice.

To me, street photography is just walking around in public, and taking photos of whatever interests you. To me, street photography is visual sociology. I use the camera as my research tool to better understand the world around me.

Leading lines, steet photography. Subway, station, Kyoto, uji
Leading lines. Man at platform. Osaka, 2018

Disregard what makes “good” or “bad” street photography. Instead, focus on what makes fun/fulfilling/challenging street photography:

  • Fun: unpredictable, variety, chaos, and different. If you’re not having fun in street photography, you’re doing something wrong.
  • Fulfilling: Make personally meaningful photos, that have emotional significance to you.
  • Challenging: Challenge yourself by conquering your fears, shooting closer, and making more dynamic street photography compositions.

Go and shoot!

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So friend, what are you waiting for? Embark on your own fun and challenging street photography adventure, and whenever possible, try to shoot everyday.

Define your own street photography style and approach, and make your own work fulfilling for you.

camera film, camera, sd card, batteries

Shoot street photography as a form of mental therapy, to overcome depression, and to find more excitement and interest in your life!

BE BOLD,
ERIC

Conquer your fears and meet new peers at ERIC KIM WORKSHOP


Learn more: STREET PHOTOGRAPHY 101


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By ERIC KIM

Artist-Philosopher