Street photography as a genre is something of a melting pot. It’s actually one of the things I love about it. Street photography can be fine art, storytelling, portraiture, B&W, color, basically anything you want it to be. It also has a wide variety of practical applications. Some sell prints, some are only hobbyists, some join competitions, some display their images in galleries, and some stow away their images to be found by a stranger in the distant future (like a certain Vivian I know of). But one use for street photography that is becoming ever more popular is pretty inspiring. It’s the use of street images to make a difference in local communities. Sometimes, these projects even have an international impact. So what kind of projects are we talking about exactly? Here are two great examples:
You’ve probably heard of Valerie Jardin here in the magazine, or maybe you’ve read one of her books or done a workshop with her. Well, when Valerie was contacted by Joshua Coombes to help with a project called “Do Something For Nothing,” she knew she wanted to get involved. Joshua uses his time and skills to offer free haircuts and, more importantly, a listenening ear to homeless people in big cities.
Valerie had this to say after capturing Josh in action, “Homelessness can happen to anyone at any time. White or black, young or old, misfortune and adversity don’t discriminate. This project has been life changing. The images I collected so far were definitely the most important photographs I’ve ever shot.” Valerie was able to document Josh’s work and help him spread the word about his cause while, of course, spreading the love. What a wonderful way to use street photography to make a difference! Check out Valerie’s full article about the project and find out how you can help by clicking here.
Everyday Bay Area
I honestly don’t even remember how I stumbled across this project, but it really made an impression on me. Here’s how EDBA describes their project:
“Everyday Bay Area is a project of CatchLight and The Everyday Projects, in partnership with KQED Public Media and PhotoWings. We are focusing the power of visual storytelling to help San Francisco Bay Area residents see and understand each other across identities, ages, demographics and geographies.
Based on a curated Instagram feed, Everyday Bay Area encourages professionals and amateurs alike to shoot “photography that matters.” We seek stories that connect people—images that ignite curiosity and promote inclusion, tolerance and respect.”
What an amazing project right? The images that make up this project are true street shots and they are top-notch. They are taken by a wide variety of individuals of the even wider variety of individuals that make up the community that is the Bay Area. I guess one thing I loved about this project is the fact that any one of us in any city can create images that do the same. Use our street shots to connect people, to promote respect and inclusion. Helping others to see a community’s potential and showing people in a way that gives others a new understanding – I think we can all strive to do that. Find out more about Everyday Bay Area by clicking this link.
Anyway, these are just two of many street photography projects designed to make a difference. If you are working on a project like these, feel free to get in touch with us! We would love to hear about what you are doing and the impact it’s having.
Happy shooting everyone!