Street photography deals primarily with telling stories. The stories don’t need to be elaborate in order to be effective; in fact, simpler is often better. The stories are also open to interpretation by the viewer, but effective street photographs do represent some kind of universalism that anyone can connect with.
While a list of characteristics of what makes street photography “work” would be a potentially long list, yet one worth exploring, what lies at the source of effective street photography is, of course, the photographer — the photographer’s ability to establish a relationship, no matter how short-lived, with the subject and convey some meaningful element of that relationship with the viewer.
Alfred Eisenstaedt, German photographer and photojournalist best known for his iconic V-J Day in Times Square photo, said it best: “It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”
The street photographers featured here embody that spirit.
Shin Noguchi is a Japanese photographer who describes his style of street photography “as an attempt to capture extraordinary moments of excitement, beauty and humanism, among the flow of everyday life and has a discreet, poetic and enigmatic approach that is sensitive to the subtleties and complexities of Japanese culture without using posed/staged and no-finder/hip shot.” He is also a member of Street Photographers, an international collective of photographers who aim to continue the esteemed tradition of street photography. Check out Shin’s work on Flickr and on his website.
A Flickr member since 2010, Georgie Pauwels’ predominately black and white gallery features street photography images from around the world. Her work is uniquely composed and brilliantly captures the diversity of the human experience. Click here to see more of Georgie’s images.
If I had to use one word to describe Chris Moret’s photography, it would be “unique.” Currently residing in Delft, Holland, Chris’ work often reflects the awkward, humorous, quirky, and mystifying moments that arise all around but sometimes go unnoticed by less attentive eyes. Chris’ Flickr gallery of more than 140 images will quickly draw you in and keep you there.
Lukas Vasilikos is a Greek photographer who cites street photography as his “real passion.” Lukas and his work have been featured in multiple exhibitions and publications since 2006 when he first entered the photography world. Lukas’ images are unembellished, emotional, and powerful, with a strong film noir aesthetic. You can see his work on Flickr and on his website.
Jonathan van Smit is a Hong Kong based photographer who is often considered to be the master of Hong Kong street photography; his imagery is raw, moody, dynamic, and uncompromising — sometimes taking the viewer aback. Jonathan’s ability to tell a story shines through his work. Follow him on Flickr and visit his website.
England-born photographer Larry Hallegua states that he strives “to capture extraordinary moments among the ordinary in everyday life, whilst maintaining a balance of art, fun, and surrealism….” Once you have a look at this accomplished photographer’s work (on Flickr and his website), I think you’ll agree that he is fulfilling his artistic goals.
Linda Wisdom is a London-based, self-taught photographer who credits the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Vivian Maier as stylistic influences. Her images incorporate urban scenery, light and shadow play, and street candids; these elements lend a sense of intimacy to Linda’s work, creating shots with which viewers connect on a very personal level. You can enjoy Linda’s award winning work on her Flickr stream and her website.
Thomas Leuthard, a street photography based in Switzerland, travels the world to document the goings-on of everyday life. A successful photographer with 11 books to his credit, Thomas’ images reveal him as an adept storyteller, with a supreme ability to create genuine interest and intrigue in his subjects. His Flickr gallery will become one of your favorites, and you can also browse Thomas’ books at his website.