I would say that most people who have/do shoot the street, at some point have been afraid of it. Thats myself included.
I went out yesterday and I walked around for a good hour before I took a frame. It got my thinking why I all of a sudden had an irrational fear to shoot? Writing this now I can’t see what the problem was. In my old job, confrontations were a daily occurrence with many of those being physical altercations and it was not an issue, no fear and it was dealt with.
But composing a frame and clicking the shutter, even just the thought of it stopped me. To date I’ve not had an altercation because of shooting the street and it’s really puzzled me as to why.
I can only put my irrational fear down to what other people were thinking of me if/when they saw me taking pictures. Even if they were not the subject. Its a crazy thing to worry about that but it really halted me.
The above image was the first of the day. Nothing special but I had to step away from the town centre where it was pretty quiet to get my head right.
I’m not out everyday shooting on the street but its not very often that I have a mental block like this happen. The psychology of street photography is fascinating. How one small thought (like I had) can manifest in to a huge issue that prevents you from shooting.
I think that one reason people might struggle with street photography, is because we often have a misconception of what it is. I put this down to social media, popular YouTube accounts where that particular persons style is bold and up close like Bruce Gilden.
This way of working, while stunning, close and very graphic. Doesn’t suit me and my personality. I often find myself around looking for characters to shoot, subconsciously in the style I mentioned because of what people want to see. There’s that saying my Robert Capa.. “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” and this sticks in my mind a lot. But how close is close enough for your style of shooting?
I could go on but I’ll end it here by saying just shoot what you feel compelled to shoot, not what is popular on Instagram or whatever. Its like different horses, for different courses. Some people just don’t suit a certain way of shooting… Find yours.
I wish you all a Happy New Yea!