Street photography using your skills to capture vignettes of life to create a portfolio of reportage photography in Black and White is a very rewarding way to work.
You an be anywhere in the world and in nay situation, from a car park in Cheltenham to a news event in China.
I think of street photography as a subcategory of documentary photography and photojournalism. Where documentary photography and photojournalism can be defined as non-fiction visual storytelling employed to chronicle important events in history or document the human condition, street photography is more an art form without constraint.
Street photography could be considered to be a non specific form of photojournalism(not following a story) an eclectic mix of imagery taken as and when events happen and unfold in front of you.
Of course in street photography you can follow a set idea, as in this set of images.
A narrative has bee created around the idea of photographing holidaymakers passing by the window of a cafe.
There is no story as in photojournalism but a comprehensive related set of images can be created and as with documentary photography whether or not the "story" was known before starting taking pictures a set of interrelated images starts to form.
I love the work of Jeff Jacobson.
Jacobson approaches his work by... taking pictures... and his quote about his work always stays with me when I am out on the street.
"I never start off with an idea in mind, I start taking pictures and the pictures tell me what it is. When I'm in it, especially towards the beginning I never spend too much time trying to analyse it because it kills it for me."
So as I have described when you start taking pictures you may have no idea what it is you are doing but the very act of taking pictures can lead you to the meaning in the work.
You will probably find that after a while you start to see that the days or weeks of work hang together. A simple observation of a shopper on the street may lead to a set on consumerism, or a picture of a preacher on a street corner sparks the idea of a set of religious photographs.
Therefore he photographer is the observer, being inspired by the ordinary and seeing the unusual or the opportunities in what others miss in day to day life. it is up to us to see the narrative.
Of course images can stand as single individual shots but it is often good practice to build a portfolio.
The portfolio may need you to re address the idea over a week, a month or even longer or it may just be sitting in a cafe with a coffee for 15 minutes and grabbing small set of images.
What will happen is that you will have 3 or 4 projects on the go at the same time and when out shooting for one project you will probably see or find an image or two that fits with a concurrently running project.
So always be on the look out and be inspired by the ordinary, nothing is worthless, it's just what you do with it that matters.
reportage, editorial, documentary