Street Photography is Not Glamorous
If you are searching for glamour in the world of photography, then street photography is not the right field for you. From the “Lights, Camera, Action,” only the Camera is the silent spectator here. There are no special lights and no action effects. Just the camera and your object or subject. Street photography is closer to reality. Reality is closer to the factual world than the fictional world of glamour. In street photography there is no posing of scenes, no control of props, no control over light conditions and most of the time the subject is not aware the he or she is being photographed.
Street Photography is Not a Short Cut to Making Money
In India, especially street photography has not as yet become a source of sustainable income generation for photographers. Press photography as a photo journalist for the press can make you some money. Street photography is more for connecting on a personal level or on a very local level with humanity in general and with the heart and soul of India. Very few opportunities exist for making a decent living out of street photography. The genre of street photography is not money making at all. Still, if you are persistent and want to make some pocket money out of your street photography venture, then here are some few tips:
• Publish eBooks and sell them online for downloading the full eBook.
• Organize photo walks or photo tours for amateurs and beginners.
• Organize photo exhibitions cum sales.
• Sell your framed photos in commercial stalls.
• Arrange webinars on topics of street photography.
• Publish hard or soft bound books only if you are well known by readers.
• Sell your services as a photographer for street projects of NGOs.
• Sell your best photographs to stock agencies and advertising companies.
• Finally, sell your photograph and its rights to publications.
Street Photography is Not Easy Work
Many individuals entering the world of photography feel motivated when they see other photographers such as Tourists, Press reporters and Professionals working. Street photography requires energy, motivation and stamina to continue working the streets to a T. Meaning thoroughly. In sunshine or moonshine, even in the hottest sultry summers of India and the moist humid climate of the Monsoons. The field of street photography needs lots of courage and composed mind to walk unknown streets and start clicking pictures of more unknown or strange people. Street photography is not a one-day job or a one-week assignment or even a one-month project. It demands a lifetime of commitment to survive and sustain oneself in an environment that does not provide any form of financial independence.
Street Photography Should Not be Used to Document Poverty Only
Many street photographers are tempted to show more of poverty or negativity in their clicked pictures, because negativity has more buyers or people who appreciate it. This by itself provides a photography assignment of attempting to also click positive pictures and to show the bright side of every local place too. Development, infrastructure and cultural richness of a place can also be documented for posterity. Street photography though realistic and the closest that one can get to humanity through a lens, should never demean humans and their conditions.
Street Photography is Not Only about Streets
Street photography can encompass anything that is out there in the open, waiting to be captured either on film or digital canvas. Street photography is also called candid photography because most of the time, the artist through his lens tries to capture, gestures, postures, poses, styles, expressions, facial features etc. without informing the subject, thus getting totally realistic images, that are normally called candid photos. Street photography can also include anything that is in the background of the composed image such as buildings, staircases, alleys, roads, cars, animals, buses, trains, planes, shops, the list is limitless. Street photography tries to apply to all areas, activities, infrastructures, vehicles, animals, birds, people buildings, shops etc. anything that can be shot without legal hindrance being in the open spaces meant specifically for public. Invading of any private space or spying on people, or business or country does not come within the purview of street photography.
Street Photography is Not Only in Black & White
This is a total misnomer that street photography always has to be shot in black and white. Though always and by majority considered to be the first choice to communicate the life on the streets through strong and emotive black and white photography, this need not be the rule for one and all. For example: In many places in rural India, especially in North India, color is an important facet and is part and parcel of daily life. The desert lands of Rajasthan state has less blooming colorful flowers and more blossoming women draped in the primary colors of red, yellow and blue. Since color photographs appear to be more cheerful hence many artists deviate from it and stick to experimenting in black and white. It is easier to depict harsh reality and extreme poverty in black and white medium than in the full splash of color. Many a times some situations demand only black and white and other times one cannot do without having the color mode on.
Street Photography is Not about Showing Off Your Equipment
Have you ever wondered what would people stare at, if you walked any streets of the world, totally stark naked while carrying multiple cameras around your neck and more in hand. Would the public be amazed at your latest and modern and expensive multiple digital cameras or would they be amused seeing your private family jewelry dangling on the streets for attention?
Cameras and accessories and equipment are meant to work for you and not to become an extension of your ego, that too out in the middle of the roads amidst hundreds of public people. On the streets, anywhere in the world, the artist does not want to attract any attention to self and cameras as that will disturb his natural environment around him and he/she will not get good candid shots then.
Hence it is always recommended to move out on the streets with only, I repeat again only one Camera with all settings done and in a ready to shoot mode. This way you will not get distracted and also not attract unnecessary attention towards you.
Street Photography is Not Only Portrait Photography
Portraiture or photographing portraits is part of street photography but everything about street photography is not only about shooting portraits. On the contrary street photography would like to involve even the immediate surroundings around the portrait of the person. The person is not an entity by itself; it is the foreground, the background and the surroundings that complete the person in the frame. Also it is extremely difficult to click portrait photographs without standing directly in front of the person. Eye contact will happen naturally and it will surely change the dynamics of your image. Yes. One can shoot with long distance zoom lens without invading the private space of the subject, but then one has to sacrifice on clarity and sharpness of the picture.
Street Photography is Not Only Candid Photography
There are many who argue that street photographers should shoot people in the streets secretly without ever disturbing them and with them not looking directly at the lens while being shot. Street photography is of three types:
1. Candid photography
2. Photography with permission
3. Staged photography on streets
The majority of street photographers love to shoot candid photographs and they surely do have a large audience and following. There are a few experienced and extrovert photographers who are extremely comfortable with their social skills and are adept at asking people for permission to shoot them. In this type of street photography, you will find the subjects in the photos looking directly into the camera lens. The least popular of them all in street photography is staged photography, wherein the artist may introduce his own props, add lighting effects, control the crowds, decide who poses within the frame area etc. This is like taking a little bit of the “artificial” to the “real” world and combining the better of the two to get striking street photographs.
Lastly, but never the least, street photography can be also rightly called reality photography and many Indians or locals may not like their harsh or real conditions to be documented for the world to see.