Helen asked me over the weekend why I like street photography. Off the top of my head I didn't give a particularly good answer so I decided to dwell on it a little more.
I like that it's about people. People are almost always interesting to photograph. Challenging, different, unique, fascinating.
I like that it’s real. Unstaged, unprepared, usually unplanned, spontaneous. Selective and unavoidably biased, but real.
I like that it’s accessible. Of course it helps to be living in a city, but it's constantly available. Just grab a camera and go.
I like the idea of documenting, but with an artistic element.
I like the history of street photography, the stories, the craft of the great master street photographers.
I like that it doesn’t stand alone. That there are elements of portraiture, of journalism, of urban and event photography. Street photography skills apply across genres.
But above all I think it’s that I like the experience. I enjoy being out on the streets with no purpose other than to take some pictures. Simply that. Out, alone, walking, exploring, discovering, inventing. Finding a new location or idea. Pushing myself to try something new, or get closer to a scene, or to start a conversation.
And yes, I like the encounters. The ‘random’ connections that I don’t think are random. The conversations that I’m not great at, but learning. Learning to listen more. Always about the people.