What is Street Photography?

I know there are many articles and blog posts about what Street Photography is in a general sense, however I would like not only to highlight its original meaning in the history of photography and its practice, but also what it actually means to me personally and how it helps me to understand and view the world around me.

 Marseille

Marseille

There are many definitions of the term “street photography” and some of you may agree with one or another. Personally, I like and definitely agree with the one given by the great street photographer David Gibson, which you can find in an interview to the online magazine Amateur Photographer here. For David Gibson, “the term “street photography” can be applied to any photographs taken in a public space, with or without the inclusion of people, which are entirely natural, and not set up”. In my opinion, this is the classical definition of it, the one followed by the greatest photographers of the XX century like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Louis Faurer or Robert Frank, among others. I pursue this way of looking at street photography in my work and projects: Hidden Souls, Lost in Translation, Homeland, Eros and My Europe.

Furthermore, I consider street photography one of the most complete areas of photography, as it can involve and cross many other types as far as it remains true to its spontaneous nature: documentary, fine art, travel, minimal, black and white, night and portrait. Like David Gibson says: “for me, not setting up images really is the crucial thing. I’m a bit of a purist in that sense. I get a bit agitated when I suspect a photographer has set something up. I think it’s cheating. I like to think that the people who do it get found out”. Street photography is so versatile that the whole work of a street photographer can be very wide and diverse, but let’s not forget a street photography project on its own has to be consistent, while the overall gallery can include all these other elements. For example, I merged documentary, travel and black and white into “My Europe” project; minimalism and abstract in “Lost in Translation” and conceptual fine art in “Hidden Souls”. Street photography allows creativity to expand in many ways, exploring the streets with a different eye and mind every time.

“Photograph what is closest to you and the things you enjoy and have an interest in. Make the whole process as fun and as least difficult as possible” – Trent Parke