The Essential Online Resources List for Street Photographers

Having a good place to start with street photography can be extremely helpful in the long voyage to find our inner voice. Today we want to share with you a compendium of resources we have found to be very helpful in the never-ending evolution of our passionate careers as street photographers.

After some good old brainstorming and a long series of emails, we have concluded that this might be a resource pool for street photographers – or at least an essential list for getting heavily immersed in street photography for a while. Therefore, this is an excellent place to start if you are new to street photography.

We have divided our list into 10 different categories, and each of category has between two and five different resources. We hope this list will be helpful to your growth as a street photographer.

1. Awards

If you have ever been interested in awards, then the Lensculture Yearly Street Photography Awards may be just what you need. These guys are among the leading voices in contemporary photography, and their awards are an excellent way to get feedback and critique, as well as tremendous exposure if you make it to the finals.

2. Books 

Photo by Eugenio Mazzone on Unsplash

I recently got myself a copy of this fantastic book. I'm a fan of Valérie's work, and this paperback looked pretty interesting. And it is. The book is special because it shows you the story behind each image in the book, a completely new approach indeed.

First of all, this book is huge but is a treasure. It’s filled with images from one of my favorite street photographers of all time, Helen Levitt. I felt absolutely inebriated the first time I took the time to actually read the images in the book.

Okay, the price of this thing has skyrocketed … but I bought for $20.00. Garry Winogrand was part of the bold moves John Szarkowski made at MoMA to push photography into the world of art. This book is magnificent if you like street photography. Unfortunately, it has become pretty pricey, but you can still see his work online.

3. Documentaries 

Photo by Pim Chu on Unsplash

This documentary centers on the most recent work of the legendary Czech Photographer Josef Koudelka, a personal favorite of mine. Holy Land is a four-year project in which Koudelka portrays the harsh realities of violence and conflict.

If you’re unfamiliar with the work of one of the most recent rock stars of street photography, this documentary will be a delight to watch. It centers on the life of Vivian Maier, a French-American woman who worked for most of her life as a nanny and housekeeper in Chicago, but one who had a great passion for photography. What is happening now with her prints and work has been a bit controversial, but her images are a blast.

Made three years before he passed away, this documentary is an intimate and personal film about Saul Leiter's philosophy of life, especially about how he loved to postpone things. Filled with wisdom, passion and a glimpse of humor, this film is a great lesson for everybody, not just photographers. 

This documentary shows us the lives and work of New York's iconic street photographers and the city that has inspired them for decades. The documentary pays tribute to the spirit of street photography and is an absolute must for anyone interested in this genre.

4. Gear Reviews

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

Ok, I'm not much of a gearhead, but when it comes to gear reviews, Take Kayo (aka Big Head Taco) and Ted Forbes are great at it. Objective and fun indeed (also watch Ted Forbes’ entire pool of videos; he's awesome).

5. Instagram Accounts

If you’re into endless scrolling and high-quality street photography, try adding these two to your following list:

6. Magazines

Magazines are always an accessible way to get close to up-to-date photography. These two are one of the most prestigious magazines out there. Of course, there are plenty of magazines on the market, and this is just our very brief selection: 

7. Movies

Movies are extremely efficient when it comes to storytelling. And even though the following motion pictures we recommend are not about street photography itself, they surely reflect the adrenaline rush of shooting under non-controlled conditions (like what happens when shooting pictures in the streets).

Bold indeed, Cidade de Deus centers around the tough life of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro in the ’70s (you can see how important this movie was for the Favelas in a documentary called Gringo in the Slum). One of the main characters of the movie is a photographer who documents the related drug violence of his own slum. 

This movie centers around a brief excerpt of the life of four great photographers: Ken Oosterbroek, João Silva, Kevin Carter and Greg Marinovich (there is also a book written in a sort of chronicle format which has almost nothing to do with the movie). This movie was the main reason I wanted so desperately to learn how to shoot film. I just wanted to feel how things were made by these four crazy great photographers. 

8. Podcasts

Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

Podcasts aren't for everybody, but I'm a huge fan. I download them and play 'em in traffic. Try these three if you love street photography and podcasts: 

9. Website

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Magnum Photos is the best website to keep an eye on if you like high-quality candids and street photography. After all, Magnum was founded by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa – who else would you want to learn street photography from?

10. YouTube Channel

Hosted by the talented, charismatic and passionate John Free, this is pretty much the quintessential channel you need to watch to get a real grasp of what street photography is about.

We hope you enjoy these amazing resources and, as always, if there is anything else that should be added to these lists, please let us know in the comments

About the author

Federico Alegria

Frederico is a professional photographer from El Salvador. Check out his photography portfolio.

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