Stop sulking about terrible street photography! Here’s why it’s ok
I have already written about the possibilities of photography is addictive. It is certainly plausible that street photography is addictive – the hunting, the catching, the shooting, the endorphins! This is the reason why so many street photographers go out in search of the rush that accompanies “taking the picture”. The reality is, however, that you won’t get a good shot all the time. And I know a lot of street photographers are put off by that. You shouldn’t, and here’s why.
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Home Street Photography Run!
My relationship with street photography has intensified over the past two months. This is the first time since the start of the pandemic that I always come back with my camera with me. I constantly want to photograph and create; it’s incredible.
Beyond my returning passion, I also feel sharper than ever in terms of scouting scenes. I constantly see compelling images and miss nothing. This is the level of consciousness that I had two or three years ago when I was feeling at my peak. Because of this, I hit a small run where I was getting some great pictures. The kind of pictures you create and think, “Can’t wait to get home and load them on the computer.” For a while, creating street photographs was like hitting the jackpot on slot machines. Day after day, these plans aligned: it was exciting.
Then one day I wandered for hours. I was looking for “the plan”, I was waiting for the frame. Nothing came. I went out the next day. Again, nothing came. “Where’s my jackpot?” ” I said. And then I remembered: street photography is rarely winning.
Street photography and consistency
Street photography, in my opinion, is one of the most difficult genres to photograph (check out the easiest photography genres.) The reason it is so difficult is that we have no control over it. happening in the streets. With that in mind, logically, you wouldn’t always get great photos when you shoot. But I know a lot of street photographers struggle with this reality. When the blows do not return, they sulk. Sometimes they stop filming and go months without going out with their cameras.
If you are reading this and you think “that looks like me”, I have news for you: it is normal that your street photographs are sometimes bad.
As Alex Webb put it:
“Luck, or maybe chance, plays a big role. But you never know what’s going to happen. And what’s most exciting is when the unexpected happens, and you manage to be there in the right place at the right time, and push the shutter at the right time. Most of the time, it doesn’t work out that way. Street photography is 99.9% failure.
– Alex Webb
Even the best and most famous street photographers fail. They know they won’t get good shots all the time, but they stay consistent. They are at peace with their failure and are happy to patiently await their success. So if you hope to one day be seen as a master of street photography, you have to be able to get through tough times. If you can’t accept that you won’t hit the jackpot every day, then this game is not for you.
How to keep taking street photos during a drought
Street photography has several advantages. It’s not just the final image. First, I believe that street photography make you a better person because of the virtues developed by practicing it.
Second, the walking process is extremely meditative. It keeps you focused, keeps your mind centered, and can be extremely relaxing, despite the amount of walking you do.
There is also the community that comes with street photography. Street shooting is a great way to make friends and discuss what kind of photography you enjoy. Socialization enriches the mind, especially when you’re doing it with like-minded people.
Things you can do to overcome a drought
Taking a conscious break from street photography can help you get back to where you left off. Don’t shoot for a few days, maybe even a week. Then go back there. Other than taking a break, you should browse your archives. If you have years of experience, you should notice patterns where you’ve had great streaks and inevitable droughts. Use it to remind yourself that this time will pass and you will start to create winners again.
Again, street photography is not easy. And no matter how good you are, you aren’t guaranteed to get good hits all the time. If you really have a passion for the craft and have taken the time to study it, you will know that it is above all a game of waiting.
If you tap into all the other things that street photography can do for you, then taking great photos every day won’t seem as important as you might think. So if you don’t hit a home run, stop sulking and self-pitying. It’s all part of the game we love. If you are consistent and determined, these awesome pictures will come and you will feel amazing when they do. So keep going!
Are you disheartened when you don’t get great pictures? What helps you get over a drought? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.