Street Photography – what it means to me?

Street Photography – what it means to me?


There are a lot of articles about what is street photography. However, I have found few articles about what street photography means to the photographer. There  are millions of definitions about street photography. Many were right in own aspects. However, many did not ask what makes a person so passionate about street photography and what it means to him.

This article is about what street photography means to me…and not anyone else. If you share the same journey well and good, if not you are also right in your own interpretations and experience.

The more I take street photos the more I felt that I feel connected to my subjects. I feel how they live and adapt to their own environment which is very interesting. That is what makes us different. Whichever environment they are in, they all share the same happiness that no money can buy. They live by whatever means and opportunities available to them. In essence we are no different.  Yes, even the poor share their happiness and joy. It’s free. The materialism world does not guarantee happiness and contentment.


I have done some soul searching and summarised my thoughts on what are the benefits I have got from street photography.

  1. Attention to details – the attention to small details sometimes makes or breaks a photo. This has forced me to see beyond sight. To be able to capture a scene beyond sight is the holy grail of street photography. (to me)
  2. Understanding humanity –  it is a humbling experience. It takes all sorts of people to make up the world. Some are complacent, humourous, arrogant, gentle, helpful, etc. These triads happen to all walks of life.
  3. Connecting new friends – new acquaintances are made across cultures, race and religion. We were treated to meals by people who can’t afford their regular meals. We were often given free titbits by vendors all over the world…yes including vendors in Malaysia.
  4. Bring forth their unique story – it is through photography that we can bring out their unique stories and share a snapshot of their lives with the world. Perhaps making  the world a better place to live in.
  5. Highlight a cause – as a photographer I am not immune to the plight of some people who needs a helping hand. A small little push is what they or their community needs to move forward. Sometimes a tear was shed in silence and sometimes in the heart.
  6. Experience culture and customs of a place first hand – every country and environment is unique. What we have taken for granted are very much appreciated in other places.

I hope that this article will help beginners to have a better understanding on what street photography is all about.

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