The Unrepentant Flâneur’s Guide to Street Photography
About this Guide
If you are new to or experienced in street photography and the images presented in Hammer Home inspire you, this guide will help you set your documentary photography on a new, fascinating and most enjoyable path. It is a frank brass tacks look at street photography (SP) and its closely related sub-genres, and an informative but efficient means to cause you to think about how to go about expressing what you observe and find out about a community.
This guide came about by taking my years of hard learned studies and experiences, positive and negative, and creating a wonderful opportunity to re-investigate and discuss them in a way that I haven’t found anyone else to have done before.
When I started off in contemporary SP years ago, I photographed virtually everything I could within the communities that I would venture into. With a limited purpose of just documenting random and barely connected circumstances; however, my images failed to convey a strong enough sense of care for what I photographed. I could show that I have a keen interest through my shots but I couldn’t show that I actually care about the things I shoot. If my photography can’t convince an observer that I care, then my work certainly can’t move the observer into caring either. Not even slightly. Most of my pictures inevitably came out bland; technically accurate but devoid of creative passion.
I had to rethink and refine my approach to SP. I did it by applying thematic photography through flâneurism. These creative elements are the fundamentals of the guide.
The approach is not for everyone but this remains as much a guide for me to continually use to refresh my approach with my own contemporary SP projects as it is for others who are looking for a fresh new edge to rely on. It was also my intent to make this guide free and easily accessible.
This online guide fully covers:
- The creative potential of SP and its related genres;
- The marketability of SP and its related genres; and
- The ever present psychological, social, moral and legal ramifications of practicing photography today while considering the future of the artistic genre.
Everything that you see in Hammer Home is a direct result of the considerations expressed throughout this guide.
There are twelve easy to follow parts to this guide. They are all on the main Modes of Flight blog. Just below are links to the series of blog posts that make up The Unrepentant Flâneur’s Guide to Street Photography:
- Part 1 Introduction to Street Photography and Flâneurism
- Part 2 The Difference Between Urban and Street Photography and What to Shoot For
- Part 3 Rural Photography
- Part 4 Is Street Photography Art?
- Part 5 Park The Car
- Part 6 The Undiscovered Country
- Part 7 The Curious Case of Homeless Photography
- Part 8 Avoiding Clichés
- Part 9 Street Photography and the Law
- Part 10 The Snapshot and the Street Photograph
- Part 11 Adding a Personal Touch through Thematic Photography
- Part 12 Postface.
This preface will remain in Hammer Home. Use this page as your easy-to-find-gateway to each part of the guide.
Many outstanding photographers from around the world gave generously of their time, experience, advice and even photography in the development of this online guide. The input from these street, rural and urban photographers was important in maintaining the premise and direction of the guide, and has undoubtedly bolstered its popularity. In first name alphabetical order, they are:
- Aaron Offord
- Anton Brookes
- BC Lorio
- Federico Buchbinder
- Gilbert Duclos
- Kevin Valencourt
- Markus Hartel
- Tee Cee
I am most grateful to these inspiring artists for their contributions.
If, as you read the parts of this guide, you have suggestions to make or opinions to share please feel free to make comments as the comment sections will never close. You don’t have to put your camera away. Read a part. Make a statement, join a conversation or start one. Go out and shoot based on what you’ve learned, and then come back and share your experience. Keep the enjoyment of street photography very much alive in your work the whole time you consult and interact with the guide.
You can also contact me personally through e-mail. Your feedback will sincerely be welcomed.
Allan “TheMOFMan” Hamilton