What is street photography?

Life. That’s it. If you asked me this question, “Life” would have been the answer. I guess there’s not much to add right? Maybe not. One could write a book about the definition of Street Photography. An encyclopedia. An epic poem. And there’s a reason for that. Street photography simply is something different for each of us. Yes, even for those whom the answer to this question would be a lost expression, followed by a laugh, or in most cases, swearing. Street photography for me is life, it stands for it, it’s not a synonim but a way we can complete the meaning of the word itself. We appreciate or despite life though it. A photograph could make anybody smile, laugh, cry, feel. Looking at it or taking it. And there’s not much difference between the act of viewing a picture and actually taking it. When you’re on the street and you take a picture, you toke it just because you seen something, a sparkle of life, something unusual that moved you, and by taking a picture you’re kinda trying to keep it immortal. And i need a camera to see those pictures that had not been taken. On this, there’s a quote I love by Joel Meyerowitz, and I’d like to share it right here:

“I’m much happier being out on the street, mixing it up with the chance of the quality of things potentially appearing out of the ordinary reality, a slice of a moment, a thousandth of a second of recognition. There are plenty of people that don’t have that belief, that the world is gonna present itself that way, and so they don’t see it! Cause they’re not looking for it.”

A camera to me, is nothing more than a tool and a mean, that I use to see and capture moments of my life. There’s such a joyful sensation warming your heart whenever you take a picture that turns out to be good. It gives me chills to look at the back of the screen or at the print from the negative and say to myself: “Yes! I got it!” And it doesn’t happen much often. In some ways street photography gives life, as well as it takes it. If you are not able to reach the goals you imposed yourself you’re always gonna be unhappy with your work, and it’s gonna suck up a lot of your time and of your forces. But hey, that’s just the game, right?

Street photography is beautiful, but painfully hard and ruthless. You can’t just go out and pretend that firing your shutter randomly here and there you’re gonna come out with something good (and this is why you should shoot film, idiot). It takes dedication. It takes time. And experience. And a lot of those who give it a try, just miserably fail! And I maybe know the reason.

Street photography is spontaneous. It knocks at your door and calls your name until you see it waving at you in the frontyard. You don’t choose it, it chooses you. At a point, you just realise that you’ve looked for it for a long time, and now it’s there for you to enjoy the pleasure of shooting. And this is why you gotta love it. If you don’t, you ain’t gon do shit.

Street photography takes dedication. It means that you wake up in the morning with it buzzing your mind. You can’t really realize it conciously, you just know it’s there, asking for you to go out and shoot, to fullfill the overflowing desire to take a picture that can make you smile, laugh, cry, feel, once again.

Grottaglie, Italy, 2014
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