What Is Street Photography? Rules, Laws & Common Misconceptions In Street Photography
October 1, 2019

Street photography is easily one of the most challenging genres of photography. It not only tests your qualities as a photographer but at the same time it challenges you to test your patience, hard work and confidence while you deal with strangers.


Street photography is basically a documentation of day to day lifestyle of people and all the activities that happen on the streets. But it is not as simple as it sounds, you have to be persistent when it comes to creating a perfect frame in a chaotic environment. 


Now without wandering around too much, lets directly dive into the basics of Street Photography and gain some helpful tips.


Here Is What You Need To Know About Street Photography:



In this blog we are going to discuss 3 main Topics in Street Photography:

  1. What is Street Photography?
  2. What are the Rules & Laws in Street Photography?
  3. What are the Common Misconceptions in Street Photography?


What Is Street Photography?



To put it in very simple words, street photography is candid photography of random strangers and their activities happening in public places. It is a common misconception that street photography can only be done on the streets, but that’s not true. 


You can capture street pictures in absolutely any public places like the beach, stations, trains, buses, cafes, market place, etc. as far as you are shooting in a place that is not under your control. And that is the real challenge in composing a street photograph.


You might often come across a lot of street photography where the camera lens is directly pointed at the subject and a simple picture is taken. But a good street photo is the one which is a mixture of good composition techniques and storytelling skills.


A street photography, must make the viewer feel like they are living the photograph, or they are communicating with the things happening in the photograph.  It is not necessary that you have people posing in the picture, you can definitely compose you photo without using people. But the real essence of street photography lies in capturing people ‘candid’ in their ‘natural behavior'.

Rules & Laws in Street Photography?


Street photography is very intimidating not just for you as a photographer, but also for the people around you.  The random strangers on the streets don't want to become a part of a picture of a stranger. So you must be very cautious that you do not offend somebody.


There are certainly various rules and laws in every place for street photography. So it is advisable for you to check them out before you go out on a stroll. 


However, I have mentioned a few basic rules that you must keep in your mind while you go out for composing a street photograph. 


  1. If you are focusing on one single stranger in your frame,  then it is better to take their permission before hitting the shutter. 
  2. You must be very polite when you do that. And if the stranger is not comfortable, then you must move on. 
  3. If you want to avoid interactions like these, then you can take a candid Photograph from a good distance.
  4. Street photography does not permit you to click inappropriate photographs. Like entering the public bathroom, or wardrobe malfunction on a windy day. 
  5. Just because a property is a public place, does not mean you can go around capturing photography. For example if you are at a coffee house and it does not allow you to use a camera, then you should follow the rules set.
  6. It is not appreciated when your photography interferes with the public's enjoyment.
  7. At last, after having so many filters before clicking a photograph you will definitely click some good ones. And you can totally own the picture, post it, sell it, print it, etc. As they belong to you. 


Common Misconceptions in Street Photography?


Here are two common misconceptions about street photography that you will come across time and again. 


Street Photography happens only on the streets:

Well it is a very common misunderstanding that street photography can happen only on the street. But think about it, what if you see a photograph taken on a beach?  Will you call it beach photography? Or a photographer taken in a marker, will you call it market photography? 


No right? So street photography is just a broader term for life photography. You can define Your Own style of street photography. 


One picture might look like a street photograph to you, and the other might not. However what remains common here is, the candidness of the photo and how you induce life in the picture.


Street photography is the easiest genre:

Some of you might think that street photography is the easiest kind of photography as it does not require, lights, equipment, and other expensive lenses. 


But this bubble of misconception will be burst only when you get down on the field and explore various other types in this method. Like I mentioned above, it is an umbrella. In Street photography, you can definitely compose pictures like portraits, candid shots, fashion, etc. 


And every kind is going to need different effort. It is definitely the most accessible photography, but the more you try the more you will realise how much effort it takes to click a picture when nothing is in your control. 





So here is all you need to know before starting your journey as a street photographer. You just have to keep in mind that no matter what happens, you just have to keep clicking pictures. 


You will face objection from people, from authorities or even nature might create obstacles. 


You should look up and overcome these problems to create stories through your photography.

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