Street Photographers: The Quickest of Them All

Street photography is a style of documentary photography many photojournalists create when they’re between assignments because they see little bits of life that others often miss. And they have to photograph those moments–there are stories unraveling in front of them, how can they not?

Oh, and also get the exposure correct, and the composition, all in a split second.

Like these. Little compositions, small life stories. ( has many more.)

Keep in mind that in between finding these gems, they pass by many moments where NOTHING INTERESTING is going on. It’s a search, a quest for stories that matter, and editing out the rest.

A good storyteller doesn’t show the “almost-good” photos or pictures where nothing is happening. Nor do they repeat themselves. They tell strong stories–the best photographers are also great editors (I’m not talking about toning, but actual editing–they edit out the poor photos.)

Here’s what bad street photos look like. They may be in focus, but they don’t have enough going on to be included. They have no interesting expressions. They’re misses. They’re attempts. Nice try but they’re outs.

Street photographers know that every time you step out into public, for the most part, it looks unpromising. But you just have to walk, watch and get to work and the magic appears. The stories emerge from the boring.

When you want the elusive moments captured, turn to photojournalists. They see things most miss. They see this boy running, tongue out, and are ready!

Photojournalists are attuned to watching for these moments sometimes before they happen and so their awareness is greater than other photographers. They know they have to get the shot. That’s their goal in every situation, be ready, life happens quickly. You have to be set up and ready for it.

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