A very short story about the Department of Street Photography

Once upon a time there was an aspiring photographer called Polly who worked in the travel industry. Once day the urge to make pictures became too strong and Polly left her career behind and began to forge her path in the photography world. First came a humble street photography meet up group called Street Club, then the first client commissions for portrait photography were made and Polly was off! Next up she built The Photo Weekender, which saw her take small groups of street photographers on street photography adventure weekend workshops in European cities. The Photo Weekender had a very long snooze during the dark time of you-know-what, which was when Polly came up the idea of the Department of Street Photography. She began by creating The Street Photography Playbook, and is in her laboratory cooking online resources and digital mini courses, as well as hosting workshops, photo chats, and meet-ups, not to mention very much enjoying Weekendering in Europe again!


Who am I? I often ask myself this question... Hello, My name is Polly Rusyn — I'm the Boss at the Department of Street Photography and the creator of The Street Photography Playbook and The Photo Composition Playbook. 

I’m a pro-photographer and my work has been awarded and exhibited internationally at a number of street photography festivals, and published in magazines such as Eyeshot and Nat Geo Traveller UK. I have also given a number of talks about street photography including at the Nat Geo Traveller Masterclasses in London.

I’m a former Fujifilm Ambassador (AKA Official Fujifilm X-Photographer), one of a 100 women featured in the first ever “Women Street Photographers” book (curated by Gulnara Samoilova, published 2021), I contributed to "The Travel Photographer's Way" (a Bradt travel guide by Nori Jemil, published 2021), and also "Reclaim the Street" book (by Stephen McLaren and Matt Stuart, published 2023). I was also a Finalist in the Series Category at the London Street Photography Festival (LSPF) 2021, and have judged a couple of street photography competitions.

I watch Brooklyn 99 on repeat, and might have a cheese addiction…. 

Find out more about my approach to street photography by reading my interview with UP Photographers below or take a side trip to check out my portfolio — make sure you come back though!