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Why you SHOULDN’T do STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. // Are you a street shooter? Street photography is important. But I think there are some times when you shouldn’t do street photography. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. Jo Boyle says

    Kia ora. Thank you. A great video. I think it is very important to consider the ethics and philosophy, and statements you are trying to make (or inadvertently making) as a photographer. Your videos did a great job in approaching the subject in a non-judgemental way – just imploring people to be conscious about what they're doing and consider the impacts… rather than telling them what to do! Ka mau te wehi (good work!)

  2. OAAC Médias says

    i disagree. you don’t have to know the story of people to photography them. the sensibility of people’s looking at the picture is building the story for them. something funny for someone will be sad for someone else. maybe the dude shaving in the subway made laugh toushand but maybe some cried watching this. so to hell ethical and moralisation shit. A good eye and sensibility will make good picture to reflect on. you don’t have to be homeless to take picture of homeless or cinematographer to critize cinema movie.

  3. Ozzy morrison says

    Photography in public is not a crime.. Don't be a pussy.. Smh

  4. LONDON MACE says

    brilliant. Cheers!

  5. Mihai Vale says

    In my opinion I think we, all, should take pictures on the streets and not concern about stories, confidentiality and ethics. The street is a place for all of us. It is part of beauty and life. Is our environment and any picture of it may be important for the future. Travellers from 1800-1900 documented their journeys as they seen, they were subjective. They made a lot of money from their books and we, the masses, knew after that, how yellow is the skin of the people from Calcutta, for example, or how an arab town looks like. People from Arabia and Calcutta: no money from that and no problem. Instead, they love that they are revealed to the world. A picture, compared with writings, is 100% objective, is the best way to represent a piece of reality. You see in it how reality looks like (at least a piece of). The inability to capture all reality in one picture is not a reason to concern about ethics and stories. If you want the full story, go and search it.
    The true problem is what you write next to that picture, not picture itself.
    If we ask ourselves problems like this, we eventually isolate ourselves. Is like "don't say to a girl "how beautyful is your hat" because she will call the police and can jail you because… "sexual harrasement". The need of that boy: maybe "what time it is" or "where the train station is" or simply remarking a beautiful hat and making a compliment about it. Because of problems like that, now the boy have to censore his way of thinking and socialising (discovering or making other problems) and changes the way of saying simple things about truly beautiful … objects, not even girl itself. The final result: jailed boy and single girl, instead of feeling and living the life in its true beauty. You concern with the probability of 0 to 2-3 % to end up nasty and you compromise 97 to 100 % just because of that 0 to 3 %.
    With the ethics in photography Is the same thing.
    See the GDPR problem: you send an email and it have to contain a text that remind you the intrinsec value of an email: confidenciality, personal content and bla bla… Why? because 1-2% of people made commerce with personal data and police is incapable of catch them, or lazy? because 1-2% made that, now the rest of 98-99% have to suffer? The end result: cold people, more data transmitted via network, more time and resources spent, more environmental problems.
    I think this tipes of concerns is about adding problems where there are not. Just live your life and do not talk about ethics and responsabilities, because you kill the beautifulness!

  6. Joel Doxtator says

    If you want to have ethics you are in the wrong profession. Shedding light on only the good in the world is not only disingenuous, but dangerous as you paint a deceptive image of what the world truly is.

    Ethics and photography don't mix. Photography is the documentation of what is. It may be unethical to photograph someone's execution in war times, but it is essential to document it to show what was the truth. You can say that it can be implied by words and descriptions, but words can be changed at the whim of those who control the publications.

    What a photographer should be is unintrusive as possible. The moment that you as the photographer are effecting what is going on in the scene it is no longer natural event documentation. I know that we live in an age were we are afraid to step in other peoples shadows for fear that we might offend someone, but this is just a symptom of this age and it must be documented for future generation to truly know what these times were like. You need thick skin to be a photographer. It is not for the meek or easily offended.

  7. Olawale Sanni says

    As much as i appreciate your perspectives i wholeheartedly disagree with you here, i figured id make a video to discuss why & i'm curious as to what your guys thoughts are on it!

  8. Julien Taming says

    Fan of Vivian Maier's work!

  9. JBulsara A says

    I hate Bruce Gilden, he's pushing to hard just to get a good decent shot. That's not natural talent, that's rude.

  10. Ennonimus Yuzer says

    I’m trying out street photography, just to develop/ learn more about image manipulation/editing skills.

    I prefer to take photos of people when they’re not aware, as the city I live in is dangerous and I don’t wanna get into fights.

    Still trying to figure out my style, but the adventure is fun nonetheless. ☺️

    @ennonimusyuzer on insta if you’re interested.

    Any small creators wanna help eachother out?

  11. Julie Alcin says

    How about asking permission and delete pictures if people aren't happy that you took their picture.

  12. Phoenix Olivia says

    Brilliant. You couldn’t have said this better.

  13. Mattias Wigforss says

    With 1,6 tn comments you’ll never going to see this but I don’t care. I NEED to comment! Thank you so, so much for this video! Extremely important points you’re giving!
    Lots of love,

  14. Rueben Pizarro says

    It’s not the required responsibility to have a direct connection to whom you are photographing. Street photography or most photography in general is how the photographer views the world through THEIR eyes. What is right or wrong representation is subjective

  15. D WG says

    I don’t want any connection I don’t feel any empathy and I don’t care about what anyone thinks. I don’t take shots that tell a story. All I’m looking for are patterns, colours and lighting. I like stylised work with minimum interference of human emotion or the ability to project them onto the people in the photos. Allot of the people are unrecognisable any way. I used to work allot with glass in a studio and this is exactly how I view the people I shoot. Objects that fall into the right colour, scheme lighting and composition. If someone approaches me in a normal manner I’ll delete the image and therefore the argument. If they come to me in an aggressive manner I’ll respond in that manner. I don’t care about social constraints. I’ve felt rotten when things spun out of control but that’s the price of admission and I’ll happily pay it.

  16. Mack Boos says

    Nice vid! God bless. I think that's true that it is sinful
    John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

  17. Louis Columbus says

    Amen to this brother, amen.

  18. Ricardo Olazabal says

    Watch Blow-Up

  19. Chef's Eye Photography says

    I can dig it Jamie and I'd say, as a street photographer you have to do what you're comfortable with and willing to deal with when it comes to potentially interacting with your subjects. I also, think it's cultural which I noticed many who commented on this video didn't really address.

    I live in the US, I've lived on four continents but I grew up in both the Northeastern part of the country, Camden, Philadelphia, and NYC and also lived for a significant part of my adulthood in the Southeastern part of the country, namely Atlanta. I live in Washington, DC now and the culture here is completely different than the aforementioned cities.

    The cultures of both the regions and each city are very different and as a street photographer, you have to understand that. I can tell you right now what works in a city like New York certainly won't work the same way in a city like Atlanta and vice versa. The cultural sensibilities are different. Having some form of ethics in terms of how you approach the humanisation aspects of street photography certainly has its place.

    But I never ask people can I take their photo. If they wave me off, I just keep moving and continue doing what I do. If they ask me what I'm doing with the photos I tell them, I'm documenting the city I live in and leave it at that. Fortunately, I don't get much of that because my Panasonic Lumix allows me to shoot in complete silence so they don't really know if I'm taking a photo or not and that's the point. Street photographer is about candid captures of moments in time. Which is extremely clear in the work of Fan Ho.

    However, Bruce Gilden is an extream case and I'm beyond certain, being in NYC he's had his literal ass kicked on many occasion due to his approach. He seems like someone with deep psycho-emotional issues. Sorry for the length of my comment but if your video was meant to spark a dialogue I think it can be done in a civilised manner while at the same time not completely agreeing with your premise.

    Peace and Blessings. Insha'allah 🙏🏾📿🙏🏾

  20. Noealz - Corea vlogs says

    Nice vid, and while I do agree with you, I wouldn't force my ideology on others by telling them not to do something because I don't like something – just saying

  21. MS-DoS says

    This gave me a lot to think about. Thank you for the video!

  22. Jewel Bunch III says

    Powerful and moving view points thanks again for making this video

  23. Zach says

    If the question is can someone document something they haven't experienced. Sure they can, it's just another perspective. It's unfair to say they won't have a unique eye for what they see before them. We always tell or hear people say to others to "think outside the box" or "get an outside perspective." That's what's happening. I don't think anyone can say someone can't photograph something because they're not 'a part' of that thing. Does a concert photographer have to know anything about music to shoot it well or have a uniqueness to it? The only thing I'd question is people's motivations. And I think motivations and one's experiences are everything. It's going to determine what we shoot, when we shoot it, and how we shoot it. The same is true when we look at a photo. Do we expect everyone doing street photography to know the backstory of the people they're taking pictures of? That video of the guy shaving on the train. There are a few ways that could have gone. Some could see it as funny, some could feel it's disgusting, and others could feel that you do what you've gotta do. Or some may not care.

    And as motivation and intent is everything, it's also not to many people. You can't help how someone's going to take something. Perfect example, while not street photography, is a few weeks ago a restaurant in Arizona caught some heat from a local journalist because they had a photo on their wall of white coal miners after work. They're covered in coal dust of course and having a good time, but the journalist said it glorifies blackface. It's offensive and the photo shouldn't see the light of day. It's example of the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" world we live in. As Jamie said at the end of the video we really only have to square things with ourselves. After that though do we owe anyone else an explanation? And even then, will they even care? In the example I above that journalist knows it's just coal miners. But to him it's reminiscent of a past practice in America. This raises another question for me. If I put a photo out there and people hold me accountable for something in that photo. Can I hold them accountable for their interpretation of that photo? Can we judge interpretation at some point?

  24. Mister Man says

    Street photography – the dilemma that it poses isn’t of people’s privacy (since there is none in public), but of their dignity (which is the photographer’s moral obligation to respect). Myself, I rarely ever do “street” photography, except when a scene is exceptional, because I consider it vampiric. Instagram is now full of neophyte photographers who’ve taken up “steet” shooting for lack of skill and vision, letting the humanity of the subject matter lend their “work” significance. I am always respectful of others’ not wanting to be photographed. As an event photographer, I would respect that, and also chat a bit with subjects, to reciprocally make myself vulnerable to them. I never take photos of homeless people – they’re vulnerable 24/7, and their misery does not equal my poignancy.

  25. This is a really important issue. I do some street photography, especially because in my country we have many protests, strokes and so…because we are fighting a criminal and tyrannical government in Venezuela. So the people I photograph could even have problems with it, with the repressive state security agencies; so sometimes I have to determine if this person really cares about that, or rather feels proud that there is evidence that this person was in this historical moment we live.

    Apart from that, I have a simple rule: does my photography make something good to this person? If I consider it so, go ahead! If I see that I do not do any good or if even my photograph can be harmful to this person, then I do not do it.

  26. Bally Hoo says

    I really liked it. Very inspiring. Thanks.

  27. George Dike says

    Making unflattering images of people to promote yourself is rude and selfish.

  28. Alfredo Robles says

    Street Photography is as RAW as it gets for photography.

  29. Olumedia says

    Highlighting the difference in lived experience between Martin Parr and Fan Ho was a phenomenal turning point for me as a photographer. Seeing their work side by side, I can see the huge contrast in their work. As a photographer who aspires to make great photographs that feel equally rich with emotion, this video has changed the game for me! Thank you, Jamie! You're a brilliant teacher!

  30. Carlitox b says

    street photography is my love, I love Fan ho style, it's the style I try to go for, I love sean tucker, he uses people as a part of the composition, he is able to tell stories without showing faces, that for me is the charm of street photography

  31. kitschiguy says

    I thought this was an excellent film. Lots of questions asked. I think ultimately I disagree with you. Probably mainly because I'm a free speech/expression absolutist. I just don't think you should allow anone to tell you not to take a photograph. What will be next? Having worked as photographer in a country in which free speech doesn't exist made me acutely aware of how important freedom of speech is. The laws which govern it not only protect Photographers but they also protect the same people being photographed.

    I'm not sure if I accept the argument that to accurately represent a culture you need to be part of it. I found it interesting that you used Nan Goldin as an example and stated that she was a former drug abuser and victim of domestic violence. She photographed people with similar experiences of course but she also photographed transvestites/transexuals, for example. She wasn't a transvestite or transexual herself so wasn't part of that culture. Or was she? I live in in Hong Kong yet I'm white and was born in England yet I feel very much a part of Hong Kong culture so I feel perfectly capable of representing the culture as I see it.

    You talk about the ethics of representation and praise Nan Goldin for her body of work. You use mostly abstract nouns as descriptors when talking about her work; "connection" and "sensitivity" for example and state that there's a "truth" in the work of Goldin and Ho that "comes through". Again an abstract concept that does little to decide wether or not their work is ethical. I also find her work sensationalistic. Her subject matter being violence, abuse, drugs, sexuality etc and her work uses harsh lighting, on-camera flash, with no real effort to flatter her subjects that are often photographed in grubby rooms. Why? Why represent these people in sordid or squalid living conditions? It's the grim reality of their life and is honest but is also undignified.

    Nan Goldin has also stated that she wanted to get high from a very young age and has even advised young people to take LSD in order to "view the World clearly". Not only is this stupid, irresponsible and pretentious but could lead one to believe that she could have done more to avoid her drug problem and sensationalising it is cheap and tacky.

    It's also interesting the way you describe and compare Fan Ho and Martin Par with regard to being part of the culture they photograph. Fan Ho photographed mainly working-class Chinese people in the city of Hong Kong, yet he and his family were from Shanghai and didn't move to Hong Kong until he was 18. He led a fairly privileged life and the opportunities he had were a World away from the majority of the Hong Kong populace. He even apprenticed at Shaw Brothers and became an Actor and Director.

    Martin Parr on the other hand photographs people mostly from the UK, a culture he was born into. They both tend tend to photograph the working class.

    Anyway, it was a really good watch with lots of interesting questions asked.

  32. Tommy Replogle says

    Excellent video! My thoughts exactly.

  33. Allyson Carvalho says

    In my case, that I'm from Brazil, shouldn't therefore be robbed…

  34. Dale Hitchcox says

    You are fabulous.

  35. thebaptismdrink dotORG says

    I like to take pictures of the people who think they're above the law: attorneys, police, government workers. For some reason their think you are not allowed to their THEIR picture which is why it is the only fun pictures to take.

  36. Carbide Jones says

    total ass

  37. Chris Stenberg says

    I agree with you on many points, but there is some hypocrisy in the sense that this video is loaded with street photography in video b-roll form. Street photography is an art unto itself and when done well, as you point out, it is important. Sometimes it is not done well. Some photographers don't do it well. I think if there is a level of respect from the photographer it can work. Just like in all parts of life there are lots of jerks out there. Some street photographers have no ethics, this is true. But many have done important work in documenting the world we live in. I just hope that the genre isn't completely ruined by photographers just trying to get more likes and followers on instagram. Trophy hunting vs. true documentary is the real issue in my mind.

  38. Allison Flores says

    I love the insight on this video, I like to take street photos and I try to be unseen to capture people unaware but always for art, the perfect placement of the subjects. You guys can check it and and let me know what you think, I am new at this . allyy_photo

  39. Sven Ytrelid says

    Thanks a lot for this great vid!

  40. mondomoda says

    Gilden is God.

  41. SelphieFairy says

    I got into an argument in one of my photography classes, because my professor was talking about a former student who got a "great" shot at the last second for an assignment by paying a homeless guy money for his portrait after failing to take anything worthwhile prior. I said it was exploitative to give a homeless person, likely not all mentally there, for their photo. I tried to explain it would have been better to ask and then take it without paying him money. A bunch of the students in class tried to defend the student, but I was trying to get people to at least think about it. Ultimately, my professor said it was something you had to decide on your own, but what frustrated me was that it was something that, I, a *student*, had to bring up, and not something that was obvious to a professor teaching the class. Tbh, he wasn't a great professor anyway.

  42. Тimur Dаvlеtshin says

    Street photography is just boring as fuck. We all see those streets, characters, buildings every day of our lives. Only stories make those stills valuable. Tell stories along with your pictures. Make them less boring and, if you're lucky, make them interesting.

  43. Karl Walduck says

    Excellent and thoughtful viewpoint, thanks

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