For many centuries, the streets have been a constant witness to our history. From various protests and revolutions to defeats and victories, the streets had seen them all. If only these streets could talk, they would have a lot of interesting stories to tell. Fortunately, photography has always been there to document history. Photographs serve as visual records of how different life is for every individual.
Today, street photography was created to document everyday happenings. These vary from plain old daily life to notable events that might have a huge impact on the world. But why is it being taken to the streets? Here are a few reasons:
Photography and the streets are both open to all
Just as how everyone is free to roam around the streets, photography is also welcome to capture anything without limitations. Different architectural designs which can be found in the streets are within the scope of landscape photography. On the other hand, people’s emotions are perfect for portrait photography. The state of our urban environment, which is the focus of environmental photography, can also be vividly captured in the streets.
Street photographers are everywhere since everything about this medium is free. Anything can be a subject and anyone can be a photographer. It does not matter who you are, street photography is for all.
The streets is where the life is
A pedestrian crossing an intersection, children playing under a bridge, and traffic-jammed roads may just be common urban setups. For photographers, they are stories waiting to be told. They crave a photo that says “this is life.” They want to narrate a certain context through the subjects in their photographs. This is because behind every photo is an interesting story that is worth sharing the world with.
Moreover, what is fascinating about street photography is the power it yields. The power to tell the lives of normal and powerful people fairly. It shows a scene as what it is with no explanations. Yet, it manages to tell its audience what is happening. It makes them feel a certain emotion about the photograph. An emotion of uneasiness, amazement, and guilt.
Photography is art
Yes, photography is an art form and there is no other perfect platform than the streets. Art exists not only to amuse the audience. Its purpose is also to disturb, question, and make us act against something negative. From poverty, oppression, and other societal problems; street photography is not only here to document these problems. It is a way to urge people to do something about it.
There is a reason why people in the streets are the content of street photos while society is its audience. This is because what is happening in the streets requires an answer – a solution. Either through acknowledgment or change which can only be done by those in power.
The streets and photography have their influences, separately. Together, they can change the course of the world in just a snap.
Angelo has always been interested in photography and writing. He has been participating in various photography-related events since high school. Street photography is his most favorite type as he believes that this is where life is the most candid - where inequality, denigration, love, and hope coexist everyday. One day, he aspires to be an environmental photojournalist that does his part for a better world.